the original kStyle blog.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Discussion Question

Cell phones: Scourge on society, or merely the latest vehicle for rudeness?


Blogger Ann said...

I'd go with the latter.

I don't care if people choose to use cell phones. I don't care if they talk on their phones in stores or parks or other public spaces, because they'd probably do and say the same things if the person on the other end of the line were physically with them. I don't even get upset when I see drivers on cell phones; people eat and yell at their kids and listen to books on tape and do all sorts of distracting things in cars.

So if you like your cell phone, hooray! It's fine with me.

However, I do have a problem with some cell phone behavior, namely, the practice of refusing or forgetting to turn a phone off during theater productions and movies and while the owner isn't anywhere near her phone. And sometimes I see two people eating together in restaurants, and one of them is talking on a cell phone. If somebody tried that while I was with them, and it wasn't a real emergency, I'd be pissed.

Also, on a pettier note, I struggle with understanding cell phone callers much more often than landline callers. The connection can be bad; their words can be broken up or static-ravaged, or there can be a gap between the time when they say something and I hear it, and that's just irritating.

I don't own a cell phone for a number of reasons. 1. Internet telephony is cheaper (assuming you'd have a broadband Internet connection regardless). 2. Internet telephony is better quality. 3. We don't talk on the phone much--maybe 200 minutes a month total. 4. I don't like the belief that cell phone users are always available. 5. I wouldn't enjoy hauling a cell phone wherever I go. 6. I worry about the possibility of losing or breaking it.

The only time I think a cell phone would be useful would be during an emergency. Which is why I wish they'd sell cheap phones with cheap service--maybe 10 minutes for $5 a month or something. That way, I could keep it in the car in case I broke down or got a flat tire or something, but I wouldn't have to pay the $40+ monthly fee.

10:59 AM  
Blogger Eric said...

I'd say probably just the latest vehicle. I'm agreed with Ann on all counts here regarding rudeness, and I'd add a few scenarios of my own (e.g., someone's taking a call when they're clearly not in a position to talk, and then trying to engage in a half-assed conversation while shopping for produce or running on the treadmill--if you can talk, talk. If not, then let it go to voicemail.). But I like my cell phone, which I use more now than I used to. I like being reachable. I like being able to call someone and ask a question from anywhere. My reception is really good in most places, and I never have dropped calls or anything. As technology goes, I think the cell phone contributes more (while, admittedly, also taking more) than TiVo, plasma, and even really really fast computers.

11:24 AM  

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