Tuesday, December 10, 2013

My Cell Phone Still Has Buttons

"How could you not want this?" Owen asks in disbelief, displaying his iPhone in its full-apped glory. 

I began to foment my reply, only to give up when I realized his nodding was sarcastic in nature. "Thank you for pretending to listen to my reasons," I dryly returned. 
I think I am on the internet enough as it is when I am in front of a computer, whether at work or at home. I really enjoy reading, and if I transferred that pleasure to an e-reader I would have to pause mid-book come Shabbos, and I am not willing to do that; the library fulfills all my papery needs. The few times I tote my cell phone about, I find my focus leaching away as my ear automatically strains to hear a potential "ding-dong" ring from my bag. I just don't want to be tempted. It's bad enough trying to keep my portion sizes in a normal range.
I want to be able to keep my attention where it belongs, and a snazzy phone jeopardizes that ability. For instance, while I am tech-free, my compatriots are not. They emit insincere "mm-hm"s as they reply to texts in middle of my enthusiastic retelling of a very entertaining story. If I step away from a table, I come back to find them absorbed on their phone, unwilling to click back to our previous repartee. 

Sometimes I'll be falsely maligned, like when I was fishing through my coat pocket for a tissue while on a date, and the rather impolite fellow across the table had the gall to frostily state, "I thought you were getting your phone." I wasn't, obviously blowing my nose.

It seems I am not the only one to notice that smartphones are a detriment to social outings, as there are now penalties in place, as reported by Caroline Tell in "Step Away From the Phone!"

As described, people are becoming aware that constant connection is causing Disconnect (haven't seen the movie, but it was mentioned in the article). So they lock up the phone in a tin, chuck it into a fish bowl, leave it in the car, so the people before them will get all their consideration. 

It would seem, that I am of the new age of chic: 
But maybe the best way to curb cellphone overuse is by preying on people’s social insecurities. In some circles, being inaccessible is a status symbol.
“Public cellphone use has reached an uncivilized fever pitch, so now it’s chicer behavior to exempt yourself from that,” Ms. Blume said. “You’re not answerable 24/7, and that’s a powerful and luxurious statement.”   


Lost and Found said...

Anyone with a modicum of intelligence is well aware of the negative effect that phones have had on society and social behavior.

I remember reading about Phone Stack game almost 2 years ago. The Huffington Post had an article about it. If it became relevant, I'd for sure give it a go.

At the same time, for someone who is in the game we call "business" it's not always so cut and dried. When I'm in meetings with "less important" clients and a "more important" client calls, I have to take it. When I'm hanging out with friends and an "important client" calls, again, I have to take it. That's part of what it means to have "important clients," annoying as it is.

For that reason, I can understand and appreciate that when I'm in a meeting with a client and they get a phone call, they take it. They have their clients who are worth hundreds of millions and are a huge boon to their businesses. They have to give them priority over me.

There will be times when I ignore phone calls, regardless of who they're from, but those times are few and far between. Such is the working life...

Lost and Found said...

Then again, about a hundred times a day I wish to myself that I would/could work up the guts to throw my cellphone onto a truck with California plates.

Princess Lea said...

I am particularly sympathetic to businessmen, but the gals I was lunching with were not engineering important deals. Some other buddies of theirs sent them casual texts which they feel a need to respond to while I am sitting right in front of them.

But many clients have personal lives, too, and chances are they aren't calling at 8 pm. Are they?

CA plates—good one!

Yocheved said...

I have the model that came out before that one! I love it so much. You can pound nails with it. I've dropped it on concrete more times that I can count. It's older than my daughter, and G-d willing it will last the rest of my life. You couldn't pay me enough to give up my "brick".

Princess Lea said...

My trusty ancient razr is so beloved to me that I even bought a replacement battery for it. The world mocks our love, but at least it is long and true.

Lost and Found said...

For the phone calls to stop at 8 PM would be a dream come true. 1 AM is the norm, 2 AM if I'm having an unlucky night.

That's only the phone calls. The emails are 24/7.

Of course, when I'm out with friends, I try to minimize it, and I wouldn't text or email a friend, but work (whether I like it or not) has to take priority.

The only time my phone is on silent is on Shabbos and dates. And for the dates, I get flack.

Princess Lea said...

What sort of clients do you have?!?

You get flack from the dates or the clients?

Lost and Found said...

The kind that want meetings that run until 1 AM (can't wait till I get married to shut that down!). The ones that want Sunday morning meetings, Motzei Shabbos meetings and believe that their project is the sole reason for my existence. It gets fun when I have 7 clients who all have the same belief and can't fathom that "I can't talk now, I'm in a meeting."

Clients for ignoring their phone calls when I'm on a date. One client recently yelled at me for having a date during "their" time (that was a Motzei Shabbos).

Princess Lea said...

If they are so terrifying now, why should that change when you're married? (Unless your wife gives them a piece of her mind).

Lost and Found said...

Terrifying? No no, I'm no pushover that way. Once they became aware of my general availability they came to expect it always. Having a wife- especially during shana rishona- inherently limits that availability.

Princess Lea said...

Pretend you are incredibly busy outside of the office. Invent a little old aunt who needs help.

Lost and Found said...

Haha, I don't need to pretend. I'm back in school (postbac) and taking more than a full course load. For some reason they don't seem to acknowledge that. As I said, such is the business life...