Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Brought together by technology
It has come to my attention, as I'm sure it has to many to others, that while the intention of the technology advances of cell phones were meant to bring people as whole closer together, they are also pulling them apart.
Example one: UCF campus Dec 2004. I walk out of my 'organizational communications' course and glance around. Students in groups and pairs start on their walk to the next class yet rather than chatting with each other, they (nearly) simultaneously grab their cell phone and hit 1 for voicemail and send for that missed called. I found it hard to believe that all these twenty something students were waiting on a emergency call that had to immediately be returned on a Tuesday at 1:17pm. But then again what do i know ... only this... I was sadden by the fact that here we were on a college campus and instead of bantering with the friends, colleagues that we see on Tuesdays and Thursdays for and hour and fifteen minutes, we preferred to check our voicemail. - side note - I was walking alone.
Example two: While on a brief run, well jog, Sunday night I noticed a three girls I'm guessing ages 5-9 playing softball with a kickball...stick with me. The youngest of the girls was batting, the middle pitching and the oldest fielding the ball. It just so happen that the 5 yr old nailed the kickball for a wham bam of a single. She successfully made her way around all the bases (conveniently placed 3 feet apart) as her middle sister screamed at the oldest "get the ball." Now you may think what does this have to do with cell phones. I'll tell you. The oldest sister failed to field the ball merely due to the fact she was texting on her cell phone...I can only assume to another 9yr.
I could go on and on...but I won't. I'll just say this. Thank you cell phone technology for allowing me to call my family from the middle of the airport letting them know my flight is delayed, for allowing me to capture that embarrassing photo of my friend who had too much to drink and texting that certain someone I just don't have the energy to actually speak to (or even better call them as I'm about to enter a store with no reception). But shame on you cell phone for taking away the pleasure and aches of family car rides, kids riding bikes after school, students walking and talking, pillow talk and people actually conversing with those they are out with versus texting those they're not. . . .
Makes me wonder, what did we do before cell phones? Actually meet on time and at the place we agreed on? Sincerely enjoyed the company of those we are with? Committed to staying in the house for an extra 15mins to make a phone call? Carried around spare change in case of an emergency phone both call? Wow. Now that just seems silly.