Thursday, October 2, 2008

Karen Swain - Cell phone etiquette

The communication culture has exploded in America. We are bombarded by commercials trying to sell us the newest gadget. We have iPhones and blackberries that can text, send e-mail, surf the Internet, blah, blah, and blah. I can’t deny that I have a love-hate relationship with my cell phone.

Am I the only one that finds these technological toys annoying as all hell at times? These days you couldn’t escape cell phones if you tried. You can be on the toilet, minding your own business, when you’re interrupted with and you hear the person-in-the-next-stall’s conversation. As much as we all love our cell phones, can’t we admit that there’s a time and a place for them?

I often wonder if this technology has grown faster than the etiquette surrounding the culture. In this modern day, is it considered rude to carry on a cell phone conversation at a restaurant? Anyone working retail can relate to the frustration one feels when someone in line can’t hang up on their conversation for 20 seconds and acknowledge the cashier as a person.

It seems as though our society is growing less personal, and technological innovation is taking over. Most of my friends have cell phones and their popularity is undeniable. We buy them, throw our money down this bottomless pit, and loose our manners at the same time.

It is not uncommon to see a 12-year-old boy or girl with their very own cell phone. Shit, call me old fashioned, but in my day it was walkie-talkies. If I had even asked for a cell phone at that age my parents would have literally laughed in my face.

American culture has embraced cell phones and marketed them to be items of necessity rather than luxury items. Everyone has them, we must need them, and not simply want them.

What I want to someday be a trend is cell phone etiquette and courtesy. Think about your surroundings before you chat non-stop with your friend over the phone. Be considerate of those around you and for goodness sake, don’t talk on your phone in a bathroom stall at Chabot!

Although I haven’t had an Office Space moment as of yet, where I smash my cell phone into little pieces and kill the damn thing; I’ve day dreamed about it.

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