Sunday, February 25, 2007

Gadget-Holics ~ The New Intolerable Addiction

Ill: Way Odd
In the Yakkety-Yak, Don't Talk Back Department Today

Ever get that sneaking feeling that technologies such as Blackberries & cell phones often have the exact opposite effect that they're supposed to? -- i.e., instead of enhancing communication, they're actually shutting it down.

Your Demon is thinking of that really funny commercial where a pre-pubescent girl dressed in a silly little cheerleader's outfit, pom-poms on the floor beside her, talks on her cell phone--rattling on & on about absolutely nothing of any consequence, endlessly & in a really annoying Valley Girl kind of way ("Did you see what she was wearing? Oh my God!") just because she can, I suppose, while the Cingular Guy or whoever appears in various locations around & behind her, waiting interminably for the conversation to end. And, of course, it never does.

Unfortunately, that sort of non-stop silly conversation has become ubiquitous, and worse, we all have to bear witness to it whether we want to or not. For instance, my son's girl calls him all day at work, every several hours, & her addiction to the cell is so bad she even has to call him when she's a within a couple of seconds from arriving in his driveway. Like he won't know it otherwise, left to his own devices.
I shudder to think what would happen if her parents cut her off from access to her cell phone, cold turkey.

The thing is, I'm pretty certain it's more about the technology than the people involved, because these two are not communicating any better for communicating nonstop, unlike those of us old folks who had to do our courting via the dreary bother of being tied to land lines, way back in the Dark Ages. Can you imagine? Not being able to alert him that you're on your way with live blow-by-blow updates from the road? Can we just get a headset & reciever inserted surgically into this girl's head?

Anyone who's ever had the experience of turning around in a public place to respond to some question, only to find the questioner actually carrying on a conversation on a cell phone, or as this op-ed points out, the person sitting right next to you who's distracted from your real-time personal conversation by e-mailing you at the same time, or having your public space invaded by idiots who, in their bubbles of self-absorption, don't care that they're broadcasting intimate details of their personal lives to an unappreciative & unwilling audience, will enjoy this brief piece. (Title bar.)

There is a silver lining to all this "communication tech" stupidity, however ~ I have found it a convenient excuse when some strange man with whom I don't want to talk to addresses me to say, after a long pause, "Oh sorry, I thought you were talking on your cell phone," smile sweetly, & keep on about my business.

It's gotten so bad that sales of (illegal) cell phone jammers, which allow the reluctant weary-of-being made-witnesses among us to cause the offender's phone to shut down mysteriously, are shooting through the roof, and another idea is to have your cell phone print out notes you can hand to an obnoxious user--e.g., "Although the details of your husband's vasectomy may be fascinating to you, please be advised that the rest of us here in the waiting room really don't give a shit." (Or something to that effect.)
But just when you thought the sickness could not get any worse, it does: karaoke cell phones so you can torment the general public, not just your spouse, with your not-ready-for prime-time tunes, and a cell phone you can attach to your dog's collar so you can call him back home.
"A kitty PetCell is also in the works. But as we all know, cats tend to screen their calls and often choose to be unavailable."
Cat or dog --guess which Your Demon Princess would be.
As new media guru Marshall MacLuhan once said, "The medium is the message." You know, way back in the dark ages.

Yes, now that you mention it, DP is bored with blogging about politix....still.



Anonymous Pat said...

Sitting in my office I have desk phone with six lines and buttons for everyone in the building, and every conversation I have is on my cell!?

1:15 PM  
Blogger Demon Princess said...

People AT work call you on your cell? You must have a talk with them about that, unless the workplace is providing it for that purpose, of course. Otherwise, make like a cat & screen your calls, would be my advice.

If it's not an emergency or a really expensive present waiting for me when I get home, I don't want to hear about it while I'm working, & my family is clear on that. I have enough distractions at work as it is.

I know, you didn't ask. Just DPs helpful "Dear Demon Princess" ersatz advice column :)

3:02 PM  

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