The agony and the irony of cell phone addiction

I sometimes make stuff with oven-bake or air-dry clay.  At one point not long ago, I was considering creating cell-phone earrings.  But I decided not to go forward with the idea because it might interfere with all those people trying to function while holding the real contraptions up to their ears, or wandering about appearing to be talking to themselves through those things that are fitted in the ear (btw, the latter makes the person look like a nutcase, if only because there are so many people wandering around actually talking to themselves).

As I’ve said previously, I work with the public.  I see this every day, countless times a day.

Work isn’t the only place where I witness this behavior.  My car has been rear-ended three times by people who were too busy talking on their freaking cell phones to pay attention to what they were doing at the time — which was, allegedly, driving.  None of the accidents was serious, and in every case the offending driver got out (still talking on his or her cell phone), and told me that the damage wasn’t serious and there was no use going to the police.  Then they got back into their minivans and drove away (all three incidents were with apparent cell-phone addicts who were, for some reason, driving minivans; I guess I should be grateful that they weren’t driving gigantic SUVs).

People like this have continued to drive with cell phones glued to their ears in spite of the rising number of municipalities that fine drivers who chatter and drive.  They just don’t seem to be able to break their addiction.

I even saw one woman nearly go through a stoplight because every time she screamed into her cellphone (she was having an argument with someone), she took her foot off the brake and her SUV lurched forward.  By the time the light turned green, she was about 1/3rd of the way into the intersection.

Sometimes I suspect that there’s no one on the other end of the line, and these people are wandering around talking into some contraption just to avoid talking to anyone who is actually physically present.  Other times I marvel at the people who talk about very intimate parts of their lives, very loudly, in the middle of a public place, into a cell phone.  Are these the same people who are so wildly concerned about governmental invasions of privacy?  No doubt.  How about me, though?  All rules go out the window, kiddo — if you’re standing 10 feet away from me screaming into a cell phone about your divorce, I’m all ears.  And you can bet I’m going to snicker out loud about it when you’re gone.

I’m not a psychologist, but have considered coming up with a 12-step program to break people of their cell-phone addictions.  Ponder as I might, though, I can only come up with one step: PUT THE FUCKING CELL PHONE DOWN.

NO ONE needs to talk to someone else 24 hours a day, especially not when they are driving, or are also trying to have a conversation with someone standing right in front of them.

Also, cell phones do not make you look cool, professional, popular, or even busy.  Kind of like smoking, they make you look like a hopeless addict.

There’s some evidence now that they even ruin your health over time, kind of like cigarettes do.  Want a brain tumor?  Talk on a cell phone 24/7.  It’s far from a guarantee, but it may increase your chances of developing brain cancer, kind of like smoking cigarettes definitely increases your chances of developing lung cancer.  (For more balanced views on this topic, refer to http://www.ehso.com/ehshome/cellphonecancer.php and http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=fact-or-fiction-cell-phones-can-cause-brain-cancer.)

Definitely obsessive cell phone use is either a mental health hazard or a symptom of a deeper problem. 

The fact is that cell phones are just plain rude — or rather, the people who use them obsessively are rude.  It’s a new sort of modern-day, self-centered rude, but it’s rude just the same.  And as I said, with some people, cell phones seem to be a sort of social-contact avoidance device.

Will my griping help?  No.  With some of these people, I reckon an institution is the only answer.  Or maybe Big Pharma will come up with a designer drug for the problem.

But somebody has to do something.  In the meantime, I can only beg, once again, PUT THE FUCKING CELL PHONE DOWN before you hurt someone — even if that “someone” is only you.  After all, if you are an obsessive cell-phone blabberer, you are the only one who matters, right?

Kind of ironic, but all too true.

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2 Responses

  1. *chuckle* the obsessive cell phone talkers make my blood pressure rise too. Yeah, occasionally I have to make or take a call while driving or in a store, but that is a rare occurrence and I’m never happy when it…occurs. 😉 I have seen the people you are talking about; the glazed look in their eyes that indicates they are not present despite the fact that their bodies are there…the incessant chatter (love the ones where you don’t at first realize they’re on a cell phone), the total obliviousness as they crash their grocery cart into your cart (then glaring at you as if it was your fault)…the list goes on and on. I completely understand your anger over this issue.

  2. OOO yes…and those times when you try to talk to them, not realizing they are on the phone, and then you get a dirty look or they wave you off, or they turn around and stomp away in a huff. It’s totally crazy behavior. Sorry to hear you’ve encountered this nonsense too.

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