August 28, 2008

Cell Phone - love or hate it

I was at Sparkeltopia Monday and she had posted an interesting article by Ben Stein for The New York Times on his perspective of cellphones, titled Connected, Yes, but Hermetically Sealed. Go read it, it's very well written and offers an interesting point of view.

I don't totally agree with his point of view. Ben's perspective is that we're now ball and chained to cell phones and that we don't think anymore and wouldn't the world be better with out them. He blames the cell phone for causing too much connection {the business employee always reachable} and for lack of connection {kids walking down the street texting but not talking}. I believe the cell has gotten a bad wrap. The problem is more far reaching then blaming an electronic device. It's more that most Americans* have lost the ability to set healthy boundaries of personal space. An employee can set the rules down that they're not available after hours, the person who wants to do an activity undisturbed has the ability to shut the phone off, the kid that texts will still turn to the friend beside them to talk about what another friend said.

The cell phone is a tool, how are you using it?
*i say America because i only know this culture

Have a different opinion?

1 What do you think?:

rhon said...

I may be biased because I love technology but, I'll relate two stories that happened recently.

I was out of stating starting a six hour drive home when the traffic came to a stop. After barely inching along for a few minutes, smoke started coming out from under my hood. I managed to get the car pulled over where I called my spouse and my brother, the mechanic. Plenty of cars creeped past me but only one pulled over. The driver was an older woman who offered me water and antifreeze.

It's just not safe anymore to be alone and stranded on the side of the road. I was on the phone with my spouse any time I was not safely inside the locked car. Without that phone, sadly, I would not have known how to get my car to the next exit.

The phone worked for the exact purpose I carry it for - safety.

Second story. I was at my parents house. My dad is an infamous channel surfer so I decided to sit on the couch and read blogs and news items on-line instead of getting invested in a show and then have him changed the channel.

After a couple of commercial breaks dad asked what I was doing there on the computer. I said, "Reading."

A couple of commercial breaks later he says, "You should just have that thing strapped around your neck." Funny. From the moment he gets up in the morning until he goes to bed, he works on the dent in his easy chair there in front of his 52" big TV. And where's my mom? She's in her own den with a 42" flat screen. In fact, there's a TV in every room, including the bathroom.

Now exactly where did all this distraction with technology get started?

I have always admired Stein's commentary but on this issue I think he's not gone deep enough. Anything can be used to an extreme. Anything. But that doesn't mean the object itself is wrong. What's going on with the people? The problem isn't technology it has to do more with the break down of community.

And we are working more. We just don't know when to clock out. Technology may make this more apparent but it didn't cause it. I remember my dad working 60 and 70 hour weeks a lot. He was not raised in the computer generation so what's going on besides technology.