Do you remember when cell phones were these huge devices that only made phone calls and were meant to just be used for emergencies? Do you remember when cell phones were considered luxuries and only rich people who had names like Thaddeus Waltham Jameson III, Esq. owned them? Can we go back to those days please?
Once I went to a movie where some teenage girl answered her cell phone during the movie. She deliberately put the call on speaker phone, and when the person who called her asked, "So what are you doing right now?" she answered, "Nothing much," and proceeded to talk loudly until everyone in the audience groaned collectively and acted like they were going to unleash their wrath and their popcorn upon her head. She finally walked out of the theater, continuing to chat with her friend on the phone.
When I study in coffee shops, I often notice people sitting nearby, who are on dates or hanging out with their friends. I can't help wondering if those people would be happier sitting at home alone with their true loves, specifically their cell phones, because they usually spend 95% of the time texting/Tweeting/taking selfies than actually talking to the people in front of them. I always think that if I were to grab the food they're eating and then lie across their table eating the food while talking about how lame it is to be obsessed with electronic devices, they wouldn't even look up from their phones.
I have a particular acquaintance who will text me and then disappear for hours during the middle of our conversation. Then he will come back hours later and start texting me again, without apology or explanation for the long absence. This person does this every time we text each other. The last time he did it, I asked him why he stopped texting for so long. But I made the mistake of texting my question to him, and he did not respond until A DAY LATER.
When this person does that, it makes me think that maybe he's multi-tasking or texting other friends while texting me. But the fact that I always have to wait hours for a response makes me feel like my conversation (and my feelings) do not matter at all.
When I was doing the online dating thing, guys rarely called. They preferred texting, because apparently it was less nerve-wracking for them. I don't expect long love letters like women in the past received from their suitors, but it would be nice to get something more than a text that says, "Hey what's up?" or a text that has nothing but winking emojis in it. (It's like, really? I'm 34, not 14.) I once dated a guy who spent more time texting (I suspected he was texting other women during our date) than he did actually looking at me. It was like, "Perhaps you should order a drink for your cell phone, too?"
I admit that I freaked out when my cell phone was stolen recently. Even though I don't know how to use more than half the apps on it, I do use it for e-mail, phone calls, Twitter, and the Internet. Still, if I'm with friends, I always focus on THEM, not my phone. I miss the days when I could walk around outside, go to a cafe, or ride the bus without looking around to see almost everyone glued to their phones. I don't think it's just about the desire to be constantly connected anymore. I think it's about the desire to be constantly entertained. But when people focus so much on their devices, they end up missing out on the real world around them, and I think that's wrong and kind of sad.
What about you? What are some of your pet peeves regarding your cell phones and the people who are addicted to them?
Interview with… Adam Byatt - Today it’s the turn of Adam Byatt to sit down and share his writing with us. This is my 13th interview, and there are still some wonderful authors to come!...
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