Friday, October 26, 2018

Cell phones and the Internet

This idea is fresh because my friend Junie McGraw wrote a poem about cell phones. I have an issue with the amount of cell phone use among people. I was at a restaurant recently and saw a middle aged couple sitting on their phones. The woman had TWO cell phones and was alternating between the two. If they had any conversation it involved one of them complaining to the other about something they were showing them on their cell phone. So I projected that these two were not happily married, and go out to restaurants to feel somewhat alive and break out of the monotonous cycle of their pathetic lives. That may not have been the case, but seeing them interact with each other so little made me dislike them.

When I was single and dating, I often found I had to combat with a woman's cell phone. I would try to talk to them and would feel thwarted by them ignoring me with their screen. Then I realized that that meant they had no interest in me, and my approach was most likely poor. Imagine the amount of people that we don't allow ourselves to meet. Technically you could meet someone on a train or a bus and become great friends with them, or fall in love with them.

If you are on any train or bus or elevator or walking down the street. 99% of people are looking at their phones. There could 30 people on a train and there is no one talking at all. I saw a friend of mine waiting in a lounge area at Second City reading a book. There were fifteen other people there all on their phones, I approached him saying "You're the only one not on your phone here." And no one looked up or heard me or cared.

We are all addicted to our phones, and we don't have to deal with reality anymore because we can avoid it with our phones. If something you don't want to deal with is happening, just pull out your phone. I wake up and it is the first thing I look at. I take it to the bathroom with me, the idea of taking a shit without looking at it is preposterous, and valuable time where I could be texting somebody.

And we can do SO MUCH with our phones and the internet. It is an amazing device that we have. We are able to connect with so many people now. That's how I was able to start dating my lady in England. We met, added each other on Facebook, then set up a date through texting on there. Now, having been away from each other for four months, we are able to text and call everyday with no charges. It is amazing, and something that wouldn't be possible 15-20 years ago. So I am grateful for that. Without that, I probably wouldn't be going to see her in December, and would have no idea what she was going through and we could easily lose contact.

One thing that really attracted me to Georgia, and showed that she really cared about me and people in general was, we were out to lunch and she was texting on her phone for a bit and said, "Sorry, I had to text my friend." Then she put it down. She was aware, and conscious that she was using it and was considerate of me and my time and value as a person in front of her. I was really impressed by that, and made me notice and fall in love with her more quickly.

So yes it is both good and bad, I request that you all be conscious of your cell phone use, and notice when you are on it for no reason, and put it down for a bit.