Civil Discourse Now

Where the far left and far right overlap for fun and enlightenment

Tomorrow morning? The "smart phone" gets it.

   I do not like “smart” phones.  I am not all that fond of cell phones, generally.
   Before cell phones, 98 percent of what people said on the phone was crap. After cell phones, the “traffic”—i.e., number of calls made—via cell phones versus land lines (that really are not land lines anymore) has multiplied by a few magnitudes. Valuable content hardly has increased. The percentage of crap has gone up. We easily are above 99 percent.
   Before cell phones, there were no “tweets.”
   Before cell phones, if one needed or wanted or was inclined to make a call, one could use the phone in one’s home or office. If out in public, there were pay phones. Pay phones required coins and some effort.  The inclination to make a call was balanced against the coin and the effort.  Often, the call lost out.  Rarely was an important communication to the World lost.  Then again, no one was hit by a distracted driver.  After cell phones, people can use the devices wherever and whenever.  The inclination to call more often wins out.
   In Kansas City a cabby referred me to a wing place, a few blocks from the hotel, where, the cabby insisted,  the best wings in Kansas City were served.  Inside, a sign above the bar read: “No cell phones.”  Across the bottom of the menu, in bold print, one again was told: “No cell phones.”  I asked the waiter, “What if I need a cab?”  He said, “We’ll call a cab for you.”
   The wings were big—not the best, but probably the biggest I ever had.  I liked the ambience of the place, though.
   Last year I went to a movie.  As the lights went down, I noticed everyone had her or his hand-held device out, the little screens on.  I thought—what a waste, they’ll miss the coming attractions.
   I was the object of ridicule for the flip phone I had.  There are good reasons to have a phone in one’s pocket, for emergencies and the like.  I know a flip phone still is a cell phone, but a flip phone is not as intrusive as the screen of the “smart phone.”  After much derision, a few months ago, I got a “smart phone.”
   Tomorrow morning, my smart phone will go silent as one contract lapses and I wait for the contract on my old flip phone to kick into gear.

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