By Kenneth Justice
~ Uh oh…another article about cell phones, my eyes are already rolling and I’m the one typing the article!
Truth be told….I don’t hate technology. If it wasn’t for technology I couldn’t be The Culture Monk and reach the audience that I do via the power of the Internet!
But let’s be honest….cell phones have begun to change the world around us quicker than perhaps any other piece of technology since indoor plumbing was invented.
This evening on my walk to the coffee house to write this article I noticed three young adults sitting together out on their porch….
all sitting in silence…
all with their faces down looking at their cell phones….
all not communicating with each other.
Are we happy with what cell phones are doing to society?
Hey….who am I to throw stones? I have been at the forefront of cell phone technology from the very beginning. I had a cell phone before all my friends as I had talked my employer into believing that it was essential that I was reachable…
That was back in the early to mid 1990’s when cell phone companies charged you by the minute and only the business class people tended to have them….
But now, all these years later I really wonder if cell phones are doing more harm to society than help….
It is undeniable that cell phones come in handy when;
–) Your car breaks down on the side of the road
–) You are in a school bus and a fight breaks out that you can upload to YouTube
–) You are at a concert and Britney Spears has a wardrobe malfunction
–) Your wife Demi Moore isn’t looking and you snap pictures of her while she is changing
Yes, there are times that cell phones come in handy….but at what cost?
Texting, social network surfing, and picture sharing all seem to be breaking down old fashioned communication between human beings…..
The art of talking to each other in a face-to-face conversation over a cup of coffee seems to be slowly dying away.
If you don’t believe me; the next time you are at a restaurant take a look at all the people who are sitting with each other yet staring at their phones…..
A friend of mine who I hadn’t seen in a while called me recently and wanted to get coffee…..while we sat there my friend must have looked at their phone at least two dozen times!
The whole time I kept thinking to myself; ‘why did you want to get together with me if all you were going to do was text other people?’
My phone has to be on during my work hours; my clients have to be able to reach me…..
But for the past two months….I have been experimenting with a totally bizarre concept; I’ve been turning my phone off.
It first began two months ago when on a Friday night I turned my phone off when I got into bed.
It was really surreal not being able to hear my phone <beep> throughout the night whenever a friend or colleague sent me a text or email…..it was strange lying in bed knowing that nobody could get a hold of me.
After a month of turning my phone off at bedtime on the weekends….I decided to take my experiment a little bit further….I started turning my phone off for a few hours on Saturday and Sunday during the middle of the day!
Instead of suffering from anxiety….I actually felt calm. It was nice being with my family and not being interrupted with texts, emails, and all the other electronic beeps that come from my little buddy.
Isn’t that what our cell phones have become; a buddy, a friend, a confidant?
Our cell phones have taken a strange place in our society and I’m not sure what it all means.
I don’t hate cell phones….
There isn’t much in life that I actually hate….
But I do know that the more we move forward into the future….the more we lose out on some of the positive things from our past….
And I for one will always enjoy a good conversation with a friend over a cup of coffee…..
Which reminds me; I think I’ll have another cup.
Categories: Culture & Society