Thursday, January 13, 2011

Can You Hear Me Now?

Best invention EVER! My iPhone 3Gs

Do you remember the first cell phone that you purchased?  Geez.  I do.  It was the mid 90's.  Way before Cingular merged with AT&T and they were the company of the moment when it came to cell phones.  It was a Motorola.  Weighed about a pound and looked dead like one of the old cordless phones.  Including the antenna that slid up and down.  I probably still have that old phone buried somewhere in a box in the basement.  I do confess, it is sometimes hard for me to let old stuff go that I find so amusing.

Sometimes I think that in some ways, cell phones have ruined the world.  I'm sure your good ol' local phone company would agree with me to an extent, unless they saw the writing on the wall and jumped in on one of the big companies before they became so popular.  Cingular merged with AT&T years ago practically doing away with the old familiar orange logo so these days if you live in my area, your cell bill and land line bill come from the same company.

I'll be the first to admit, I'm a bit lazy and I like my quiet time all to myself.  Cell phones have pretty much ruined that for a lot of people.  That overwhelming urge to find out why that phone is ringing and who's calling and why will always trap some people into always answering their phone.  I've always been the type where I'll let it ring if I'm in the middle of something.  Like the bathroom, dishes, writing, etc.  I don't break my neck to get to the phone.  Add a cell phone that goes with you everywhere, a large pool of people with the number and guess what?  You are screwed.

Caller ID is a great example of what I'm talking about.  If you dial a wrong number you can almost BET that you'll get a call back.  Caller ID was invented so people could quell their innate curiosity over who is dialing their number.  It's a stupid, crazy thing that people really don't need but yet millions of households have it on their landlines and gladly pay for the feature each month.  But it's free on your cell phone.  Go figure!

Caller ID and cell phones have ruined one of the important passages of childhood.  And I'm referring to the prank phone call.  Three way calling was the best invention ever for this.  Dial two numbers, put them together on the line and quietly sit and listen to what happens with the conversation.  It was hours of harmless fun that I admit I participated in when I was a kid and some of the conversations that we heard were priceless.  Cell phones have ruined that harmless childhood prank.  Throw caller ID into the mix and prank calls such as that are impossible to make.  I don't know about you but I would much rather see a kid do a few of those here and there than see the same kid doing a lot of what kids do today.

Technology amazes me sometimes.  Don't get me wrong, I love my iPhone and wouldn't go back to that old, black, chunky pain of a cell phone that I bought from Cingular 15 years ago.  But every action has a reaction and unintended consequences.  We are evolving as a society, but we must evolve responsibly.  Maybe prank phone calls isn't such a good example.  But if a kid isn't making those harmless calls, what are they doing today?

And that is my thought for the day.  Rant over.

Good day sir.  :)

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