Monday, September 28, 2009

Cell Phone Society

My cell phone contract is up. It has been up for a couple of months. I wouldn't mind a new phone, but I don't need one. I want a Blackberry, but I don't want to pay the monthly charge. (Tightwad is rubbing off on me.)

The cell phone industry seems to have quite a deal going. Your phone gets outdated quickly, and you'll buy a new one every couple of years. (Unless you're L. I think she would get a new phone every 6 months if she could afford it.) Computer companies probably wish they could get in on this every-two-year action. They are still a bit too pricey for the average consumer to do that.

I was thinking back to the first cell phone at our house. K got it for her 16th birthday. Cell phones were fairly new in those days. Actually, the gift wasn't for her. Her dad gave it to himself on her birthday. The idea of her driving a car alone wasn't something he was looking forward to. If she had trouble, he wanted to know. If she wasn't home when she was supposed to be, he wanted a way to contact her.

Now what kind of cute phone did she get? A bag phone. You remember those? They plugged into the car cigarette lighter. It kind of looked like an ugly purse. For her safety and Dad's peace of mind, it was priceless.

Cell phones have spoiled us. We are always a phone call away from whatever we need. Kids are less independent. Parents have them on leashes, texting or calling them at school with unimportant information that could wait until they get home. Only rarely is the call important.

Kids don't have great memorization skills. They don't know phone numbers. Without their list of contacts, they are lost.

I don't even want to think about what it does to our social skills. No one goes to the door any more. They text or call to say they are out front. Parents don't always meet the child's friends or dates. (To say nothing of how lazy that makes us.) And this doesn't even touch on the texting rather than talking, the impermanence of texts, and the lack of face-to-face conversations. (Don't get me started!)

And yet, cell phones do exactly what the Mr. hoped. They give us peace of mind. We can call when we have trouble or are in danger.

My favorite call? K, L, and I were shopping. I get a call on my cell phone. "Mom, can you come to the changing room and see what you think of this outfit? I'm in the 3rd stall back." Only a teenage girl would make this call!

Monday Memories at Planet M


Dandy said...

I was in a grocery store that my mom used to work at and I called her twice to ask where things were. Did I ask someone there? No. I called my mom at home to ask where I could find panko.

Parents text and call their kids at school? That is just bizarre. I am so guilty of texting instead of talking. I hate talking on the phone. I would rather email than meet someone in person for wedding prep. I must work on that.

Mrs. E said...

I don't like to talk on the phone either, Dandy. I'm not sure why. But I am not a texter. (Old thumbs??)

Alicia said...

Omigosh and it's gone completely downhill since I got the iPhone... I check my email and read blogs... but it's nice, because I actually read the news more often than before (through the ny times ap)... I don't often like talking on the phone either, but if you get me on it, I can talk for a while! (especially when mothers are involved!!)

It is crazy about parents contacting h.s.-ers on their cell phones... Even more when they are 10 and 11 year old 5th graders (Who really needs to call or text a child in the middle of the day??) ...I'm still unsure that a 5th grader needs a cell phone anyway - and to top it off, they all had cooler phones than I did up until recently when I made my upgrade...

CMwhyK said...

believe it or not i have downgraded my phone since being mugged i have the phone that comes free with the cheap 35dollar a month unlimited plan for cricket but it just temporary till i get a job that pays enought to get a iphone hehe luckliy cricket doesnt have contracts! also sometimes ill text someone and they'll call i ignore said call and then text back saying i missed their call and whats up hehe

2Thinks said...

Some things blow right by unnoticed by me- like a bag phone. This is the second time I have read the words "bag phone" on the blogs in two days. I have no idea what one is. I'll have to Google it. I'm wondering what on earth I was so busy with in my life that I completely missed the bag phone era.

If I didn't have a cell phone with unlimited texting- I would never hear from my son, Pilgrim, who is in CA. But there are still so many features on my phone that I do not know how to operate- it is pathetic.

Loved the part about the call from the dressing room. Hee hee.

joyce said...

That is a great call, in the changeroom! I have actually phoned my husband from the garage to the house to tell him to turn the oven on for me.
You're right, as with all things that make our life easier, they also make us lazier until we wonder if we wouldn't have been better off without the invention.
(Can you hear me now?)

elk said...

so very true Mrs is a racket in a way, but I feel more secure as well...i have gotten those very same shopping calls!

Gayle said...

I think my two youngest kids are probably the only kids in our middle school that don't check their phones when they walk out the door at dismissal! They never look at them, which I guess is kind of a good thing. My oldest son went to DC for his 8th grade trip and didn't bother to call me or even turn on his phone after the first night. I was a wreck!

I love that your daughter called you from the changing room!

Puna said...

I am so guilty. Both my kids have nicer phones than I do. They did work and paid for it themselves. The girl used her horse camp counseling money and the boy used his birthday and babysitting money. But does that make it right? They are texting all the time...we make them put it away at dinner time. It's annoying until they go on trips without us. For some reason that's happening a lot lately. Then I feel much better while they are away. Anyway, I shouldn't talk. I'm blogging all the time.