Yeah, I'm definitely out of touch. I don't want to be out of touch....but I can't seem to help myself. It's not something I'm proud of. I look around and everywhere I see people walking, talking, driving and running while keeping constantly in touch. Me? I walk along with my hands in my pockets, oblicious to what my friends are doing, wherever they are. I drive my car with both hands on the wheel with the radio turned off, knowing the highway needs my fullest attention. There are times, times when I look around and find everyone in sight chattering away into their left or right palm, I think I must be the most isolated, uncommunicative person on earth.
I spend an inordinate amount of time analyzing my situation. Maybe it's because I'm a 71 year old coot who just doesn't want to talk to folks. No, I really can't accept that. I like to meet with family and friends and have stimulating conversations about things relevant, even irrelevant. Nope! I don't think I'm an island and I don't think I avoid conversations. I just try to avoid meaningless conversations, in being "connected" all the time.
So....I reason I'm not an argumentative, uncommunicative old geezer and I'm not anti-social. So...why do I object so vehemently to those gadgets that most people carry with them, day in and day out. You should know by now I'm talking about those infernal cell phones, contraptions I consider to be the biggest waster of time ever known to mankind and clearly a dvice of the devil.
First, let me say I never want to hear such sorry excuses as, "I got one so my wife would be safe if she breaks down on the highway" or "I got one so I'll know where my kids are and that they're safe." I don't believe either of these excuses for a minute but the second one really borders on insanity. How will a cell phone tell you where your kid is unless it has a GPS built-in? As for the first. Be honest. How many times has your wife called saying, "My car's broken down. Please come and help me." I'll bet you a dollar against a donut she never has.
Second, I can name days and dates where I've seen people, young and old, walking through a store or down a street, chatting mindlessly to some other lost soul at the other end of that connection. I've been in theaters with the guy or girl behind me talked mindlessly to someone at the other end, about the show they're about to watch or some other drivel. I've been in restaurants where a person, sitting with other people, ignored them and talked to some other person who was probably sitting at some other restaurant ignoring another group of people.
I actually followed a young couple into the Olive Garden last month and, believe it or not, they were both talking on their cell phones as they walked, together but ignoring each other. You might say, "Maybe they were on business calls." NO! I'm an eavesdropper. I overheard they conversations. It was more of the same mindless pap that I hear every time I listen in. Yeah, yeah, I know. I shouldn't listen in to other people's calls. Nuts! They shouldn't be walking along with another person, or sitting at a table with another person, chatting on their phone with someone else.
I meet with a friend for breakfast every week. He carries one of those infernal gadgets and had the habit of taking every call, wherever we were in a conversation. I finally had enough. I told him that the caller was being rude, calling him at their convenience, without regard for what he might be doing. I also said it was rude of him to take the call, leaving me sitting there trying to ignore the conversation. The conversations ( I couild only hear his end) usually went something like this:
"Hey! How you doing?"
"Oh, nothing much. Having breakfast with Dan."
"Really? You just got up, huh? What're you gonna do today?"
"I dunno. I'm gonna work for a couple hours, then go home."
"Breakfast? Some eggs and grits. What about you?"
"Pancakes! Boy, you're gonna get fat eating those."
You gotta go, huh? Okay, Call me when I get home."
"Yeah, right, see ya."
That it! Now that, my friend, was an essential conversation, and I've heard it time and time again, coming from all you who carry those things, whether you're walking on the street, through Walmart or sitting in a restaurant. Then again, maybe you no longer realize how meaningless your conversations have become. Maybe you feel a deep need to stay connected. If you do, know that I don't mind and I don't care. I'll continue to chuckle to myself and resist the urge to go down to AT&T and price the latest and greatest plan.
You should know though; that day in the not too distant future when you're sitting in Chiles', chattering away on you phone, ignoring your friend seated across from you, look around. You'll see me sitting nearby, listening to your mindless, childish conversation and laughing hysterically while my wife tries to constrain me.
Cell phones are the latest invention in rudeness. ~D.H. Mondfleur