I know! I know! I know! This is a necessary evil, but can’t we just put them down for one minute; an hour; half a day; an entire day? We have become so desensitized to etiquette and just common courtesies. It’s bad enough I’m asking teens to take their phone calls outside the library, but why do I have ask grown ass people to get off their phone in a library? IT’S THE FREAKING LIBRARY, PEOPLE! Really? I remember when I got my first cell phone. Back then it was called a “mobile” phone. Back then would have been in like 1993 for me. I don’t care about technology. I care about convenience it can provide, but I certainly don’t have to have the latest, hottest, newest anything. I DON’T CARE as long as it works. It took me forever to get a DVD player. What did I need it for? I was very content with my VHS player. But then some genius decided to start making videodisc. What the heck was I supposed to do with all those VHS tapes? Then, as if the good old videodisc wasn’t good enough, we had to get the BluRay disc which I still don’t own because that would mean I need to buy a BluRay DVD player and I wasn’t trying to upgrade anything. Hell, I own maybe 75 DVDs. I’m not getting rid of them even if I have to watch them on the computer.
Sorry…that was a tangent moment. My bad. Okay…back to the phones. I purchased my first one from Alltel Mobile. Who remembers Alltel? It was a big bulky bag and you had to plug it into the cigarette lighter in the car. Wireless didn’t even exist..not the way we experience it now! I felt like a soldier in the field, in the midst of battle, trying to radio for help. After about a year with that, I cancelled the plan and did not have another phone until about…..wait. I can’t even remember. Maybe it was late 90s or maybe not until the 2000-something. That’s how important it was to me. I do remember getting a Cricket phone/service around 2003 or 2004. I am very frugal and hate to spend money on things that don’t necessarily matter to me. The Cricket phone was cheap and that was the first time I heard of the Kyocera brand of phone. Plus, Cricket had the flat rate phone plan, and I truly had a flip phone. I didn’t even know what texting was until about 2004 when this guy I liked sent me a text. I was like, “WTH was that!” It took me a minute to figure out how to retrieve it. Little did I know that I was paying for those incoming and outgoing text messages.
So over time, I’ve come around. I can’t tell you how many phones I’ve had and I take care of them! They are too expensive to treat any kind of way and since I don’t have anyone replacing it for me, I know it’s going to last.
Here’s my beef about cell phones: the cost of the phone; the cost of the phone plan; the cheap hardware; the short length of battery life; and lack of cell phone etiquette. The price of the cell phone is ridiculous! Do these service providers really think I’m going to pay $700 for a phone? Now they’ve tried to take away our choice to have a 2-year contract and buy the phone for a lot less. They’re trying to force us into having “leases.” Really? Who wants to lease a doggone cell phone or pay as you go? They seem to have the upper hand (or do they?). Either way, I need a phone because I refuse to pay for a cell phone AND a landline at the same time. The cell phone plans (I don’t care who the provider of service is) are CRAZY! I pay almost $100 for my plan and the leasing of the phone I got suckered into. My first smartphone was an HTC. I had had a flip phone forever and kept saying to self, “I don’t need no stinking smartphone!” Well, I got that HTC and realized I could no longer live without a smartphone. The battery kept dying on the phone within the first 6 months and it wasn’t because I had not charged it. Sprint, who was my provider at the time, was worthless and would not honor the agreement or try to fix the phone. Finally, I contacted HTC directly and guess what? They sent me a brand new battery for the phone and I had no more issues. The next smartphone I got was a Samsung Galaxy S3. Still with Sprint, I didn’t think there was anything spectacular about the phone, and I did like it better than the HTC. Now onto smartphone #3. After over 2 years with the S3, I upgraded to a Galaxy Note 4. Not only did I upgrade the phone, but I left Sprint and found myself with AT&T. I can’t say I’m crazy about them, BUT I was sick of calls being dropped with Sprint. I do think the Galaxy is a well made phone in terms of hardware, but I’ve been wanting to switch to an iPhone and I keep asking myself, “Why do you need an iPhone?” I see lots of cracked screens on iPhones, but please take into consideration that the users of those phone are mostly teens who have no regard for their parents’ finances since they’re the ones who buy those new phones. All that to say my biggest peeve with the cell phone is desensitization to real people, real conversations, real manners, and real interactions. Students come to the desk all the time and have their earbuds in, music blasting and simply hand me their ID card. While I know what they want, I look at the picture and say, “Nice pic.” They’re like, “Oh, computer.” My response is, “Would you like to put that in the form of a question with perhaps a please or thank you tacked on the end?” Student responds, “Sorry. May I have a computer, please?” Abso-freaking-lutely!
All I’m saying is people who can’t tear themselves from their cell phones need to be more aware of other people and their surroundings. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been walking down a hallway at the school and had a student run into me, even as I’m attempting to veer to the right, out of harm’s way, they veer with me to their left because they are not paying attention. Finally I just stop moving and wait for the collision. They look up as if it were my fault they weren’t watching where they were going. Boy, bye!
It’s the day after Thanksgiving and I’m sitting the Volkswagen dealership. I’m observing all the people around me on their devices. I see laptops, eReaders, and cell phones. While I sit here with my phone on vibrate, so I don’t disturb anyone, I’m typing from my Chromebook and listening to Pandora. Of course I have my earbuds in! Duh! Now to my right is an elderly gentlemen who is watching some sort of video on his phone with NO earbuds! Seriously? As if that wasn’t enough, he just made a phone call, and must be hard of hearing because I can still his his conversation even with my earbuds in. Then to my left, there is a middle aged woman who is watching a movie on an iPad mini with NO earbuds. WTH! Really, people?
We are so desensitized to our surroundings because of these darn devices. I don’t want to hear your conversation. Hell, I don’t want to hear the video you’re listening to, especially since I’m not watching it! I certainly don’t want to run into you because you’re not watching where you’re going. Would it be too much trouble to ask you to turn them off and turn on to people? Yeah, probably, but could you just try to be more aware?