I’ve owned a cell phone since 1999. I even had a bag phone circa 1995. Over 80% of American adults now use some kind of mobile phone. In my experience, I see cell phones as a tool that helps us avoid making plans and sticking to them.
Cell phones give people an excuse to be late.
Today, it’s more popular to say “I’ll just text and say I’m running late,” than it is to actually show up at a previously agreed upon time and place.
If I decide to travel without my cell phone, etiquette-wise, I’m the one who’s in the wrong.
“Didn’t you get my text 15 minutes ago telling you that I’d be 30 minutes late and in a different building? No? What’s wrong with you? The mobile phone frees us from the shackles of planning and commitment. Do not ever let yourself become separated from the bonds that free you. Ever again.”
People use their cell phones, excuse me — I mean mobile phones — excuse me, I mean smart phones — for more than calling these days. Curiously, calling people is not the core function of the modern phone. Mostly, American adults use their “mo smart” phones — yes, that sounds right — so that they can be marketed to more effectively.
Really, there’s little point walking around unfettered. The mo smart phone enables relevant messages to permeate your random thoughtstream. Why simply walk past a bakery without a second glance, thinking poetically about profound matters of the heart, when a small electronic noise can alert you that one of your friends whose taste you don’t admire once frequented the establishment in 2010? And that if you, too, visit the bakery immediately, you may get 50 cents off your bill and earn a perky point? Really? Why wouldn’t you want this kind of geographically relevant data occupying your thoughts every square second of the day? How is this not an improvement on making your own fuzzy mental connections that may not have anything to do with said bakery?
What’s the point of pointless pondering or mindless meditation? Why not cram those useless moments with direct and geographically relevant marketing filler?
The mo smart phone can fill those empty spots in your head with all sorts of tittle-tattle, as well. Instead of interacting with the immediate, physical world or making your own unique mental connections; you can fill those unproductive moments with the knowledge that a girl you once knew in high school thinks her kitten is cute, and so do her friends, most of whom you do not know.
The right kind of knowledge, at the exact right time and place, is the right kind of power.