A second (or third) look at those damn cell phones

It was early this morning, during some rambunctious commenting on my part (and what other kind of early morning commenting can there be anyways?) that I found myself ruminating about one of the most omnipresent figurines of our modern society: the cellphone.

Cell phones are generally not worthy of my notice or exhaustive opinion, but that criteria in itself does not preclude any mention on this blog (in case you haven’t noticed).

The blog where I commented is frequented by mostly 20- and 30-somethings, I’d say.

You know them, they are the prime cell generation. The standard bearers of the Era of Wireless. This is the age demographic that breathed life into the i-Phone, the Droid, 3G & 4G wireless, bluetooth, etc.


Essentially I took the podium and second-guessed our reliance on our precious cellphones.

Which is unlike me.

Cell phones don’t bother me. Not in and of themselves, I should add.
Cell phones are like…children and pets.
As with children and pets, there is nothing wrong with the concept; in fact, it can be argued that these are all somewhat vital to humanity’s well-being.
There is absolutely nothing intrinsically bad about them But there is something wrong with the owners.

I bought my first cell phone like 16, 18 years ago?
I don’t remember.
I do remember the phone carrier was Pacific Bell and it was a small phone with an open key pad. It didn’t flip. It didn’t have a camera and the key pad was used solely to dial phone numbers. That’s all. It was a novelty with great practical potential.

And that is where my cellphone infatuation stayed.
It never grew beyond that. I carry much the same attitude about cellphones to this day.
They are amusements. Slightly handy amusements, but amusements nevertheless. I cancelled my texting plan early last year and my KRZR does not come attached with a large type pad. It is actually a very simple phone contrasted with most new phones on the market.

As far as I’m concerned, my phone should do now what it did in 1994 and nothing more.

In this morning’s comments I used 2 metaphors to describe what cell phones have become. I called them a “tether to society” and an “electronic umbilical cord.”

Which is it?

I say they are a tether.
To be tethered is to be fastened firmly by the earth’s mass. Balloons, blimps, hot air balloons..these are tethered. Sublimation of a random and wild nature. Made stable by the tethering element. If the cell phone is the tether, you are the balloon bobbing in the wind.

An electronic umbilical cord…? Nah.
That would suggest that your cellphone is a pathway by which nutrients and life-giving sustenance enter your body. Hardly. It’s a stinking cell phone for Chrissakes. Throw it in the trash. I guarantee you will survive.