Thursday, June 10, 2010
The Other C.P.A.: Cell Phone Addiction
The other day I was baffled at the fact that someone (I won’t name names) was flat out CRYING because she would only have access to her cell phone once a day (but could still text). My first thought was-- come on son—crying?! I remember the days of NO CELL PHONES and even now—this weekend-- I left my cell phone in another city for 3 days and I worked it out!
Losing my cell phone allowed me to become more observant and I ended up people watching a bit more than usual. What I found was disturbing --at more and more social gatherings I am starting to look around to discover that almost EVERYONE is typing away, texting away, tweeting away, checking emails, notes, blogs, weather, directions or new photo albums—instead of actually BEING AT THE EVENT. Nobody small talks anymore—why waste time when you can whip out your cell phone to keep yourself occupied. It doesn’t help that Facebook alerts you every time any type of activity occurs and is even slightly related to you.
I get it—you don’t have anyone to talk to or are left alone for a moment and you think hmm, let me just check my phone really quick—and that quick check turns into 10 minutes or more of staring at a mesmerizing display of instant technology. And here I thought I was being compassionate-- wondering why Polly Sue* is so quiet and aloof and the next day I’ll discover 10 tweets about what was going on around her and what she thought about it! Well I never!
TIP: Did you know that frequently it is people on the Autism spectrum (a social skills disorder) that come up with these apps, gadgets, and sites and it is we, the people who actually have the social capacity to interact appropriately who are abusing them? Etiquette books will have to be re-written to include cell phone guidelines!
I usually leave my phone in my bag so that I don’t become victim to this, but even I have to catch myself—I have had someone (my husband!) yell my name to get my attention and I realize that I have been warped into cell phone land where you are lucky to hear the echoes of the world around you…and its not an ugly 7 headed beast who lures you in…it’s the sweetest little bee that brings a flutter to your heart when it buzzes ever so gently to inform you that “you have a new comment”…
*names have been changed to protect the innocent ;)