Cell Phone Whores

I was at a wake not long ago and while the family of the deceased was speaking to visitors at the front of the room, there were three generations of individuals sitting in the back of the room texting. Out in the hallway and on the front porch, there were at least a half a dozen more. So now it appears that we can’t even take an hour out of our, oh so busy lives, to pay our respects to a family who has lost someone dear to them.

Really? It’s come to this?

I’m a product of the Baby Boomer Generation and I’m a fan of technology but I think there are times when the line should be obvious. Wakes and funerals seem to be no brainers but it seems like I was wrong. Wouldn’t be the first time.

I’ve watched couples in restaurants sit across from each other and barely converse because one or the other was on their cell phone for a good portion of the night. I have to tell you, barring some sort of emergency or a need to be in constant touch situation, if I were dating someone who pulled out a phone while we were having dinner, I’d be gone faster than you can spell the words that would be going through my mind. Because if answering a meaningless text or phone call is more important than spending time with the person you’re with,  there would be no reason to prolong the inevitable.

I’ve seen people who’ve spent good money for sporting events and concerts  who have their heads down for a good part of the night. Why bother? You could have stayed home and spent the money to upgrade the cell phone you purchased just last month.

For all the good technology and social media has done, it seems to have dumbed down our ability to focus on the things that should be most important in our lives.

Like relationships. Like respect.

Because technology, for all it’s advantages, is not a relationship.

Whatever happened to living in the moment?  Why must we always be somewhere other than where we are? 

According to The National Center for Biotechnology Information at the U.S. National LIbrary of Medicine, the attention span of a human being is down to 8 seconds. That’s one second less than the attention span of a goldfish. That’s right, a goldfish has a longer attention span than either one of us.
Another study found that the average person, who is awake for approximately 16 hours a day, checks their phone 150 times a day, or every six minutes. We must be very important people.

The thing is, there is no way to quantify the opportunities that have passed us by because our heads were down. We’ve essentially sold our lives to the addiction that’s in our pockets or purses. And you know what? It’s not going to change. We’re incapable as a society to give up the instant gratification our phones provide.

But maybe, just maybe, if we try real hard, we can jump ahead of the goldfish and brag about it to future generations.

Now wouldn’t that be an accomplishment.

20 thoughts on “Cell Phone Whores

  1. allthoughtswork

    A well-known comedian, I forget which one, referred to circles of young girls sitting around a table, hunched silently over their screens, typing furiously to the girls sitting just feet away, as Cyber Covens. I nearly fell out of my chair laughing.

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  2. mikeytbull

    I once worked somewhere where they had an internet staff room, so you could relax, have a coffee and if you desired, surf the net. Some of the younger members of staff would hunch themselves over the keyboards, all Sat in a line, and check their Facebook accounts. That’s ok right?! Wrong! You know what? They were messaging each other on Facebook! They were in the same room! Sat next to each other! Sheesh!!!

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    1. George Post author

      LOL…I don’t know if that’s more crazy or sad. But then the word pathetic comes to mind also. I just keep shaking my head at that one.

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  3. Dale

    Einstein called it long ago!
    http://www.socialnomics.net/2012/11/08/einsteins-technology-fear-realized-in-texting/
    I hate when I see a mother and child at a restaurant and not only does she have her phone out and is completely ignoring him, she has that stupid Bluetooth in her ear, chatting away with someone else!
    I must admit that last December, there were no cellphones to be seen at my husband’s wake ~ not that I saw, anyway!
    It’s been my mission to connect face-to-face with more and more people and I’ve been succeeding. The cells may be on the table but, unless it rings and is deemed important enough to answer, is left untouched.
    I’ve hope.

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    1. George Post author

      Einstein had it nailed a long time ago. I agree with you, Dale. One of the things that annoys me most is watching a parent and child sitting and not communicating because he or she feels something or someone is more important than that child. Thank you for bringing that one up. So is it any wonder that we will become a “Cats In The Cradle” society when it comes to these devices.
      Thank you once again for your thoughts.

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  4. joylovestravel

    We had dinner in a restaurant last night and were the only people in the entire place (and it was quite busy) who didn’t have cell phones out on the table. I just don’t get it!!

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    1. George Post author

      It’s sad in so many ways, isn’t it? It makes you wonder how we ever existed before cells phones and what would happen to our society if they were ever taken away for even a short period of time. Armageddon, I suppose.
      Thank you for your thoughts.

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  5. A.PROMPTreply

    Some of my earliest writings for my writing club which were subsequently posted on my blog early on were about this very subject. I’m simultaneously horrified and amazed at technology today and even more what I see happening to the younger generations because of that technology. I see, from your post here, that we are absolutely on the same page about this!

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    1. George Post author

      Thank you. What surprised me about this post and subsequent conversations I had with people about this subject is that so many younger people feel the same way but are helpless to curb what can only be described as an addiction to this form of technology. It’s crazy.

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  6. mamalisa4

    I couldn’t agree more!! I, for one and not phone crazed. I am rarely on facebook and def take time out to enjoy a good meal NOM!!! It is sad to think that people cannot show more respect.

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