Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Cell phone vent

Let me start by saying that I love my cellphone. I bought my iPhone as a present to myself for my 30th birthday. I definitely went through the uber addiction phase (checking email all the time, being- I mean attempting to be- suave about looking stuff up in class, etc). Before having an iPhone I had a regular ol' cellphone. But even back then, I never really understood, nor do I now, how people can think it is OK to talk loudly with almost no filter out in public. When did the world become our living room and/or office? When everyone, and I mean everyone, started carrying cellphones.

Now, just to be clear, I'm not opposed to people talking on their phones when around others in public areas. What I take issue with is the assumption of anonymity and isolation. Just this morning I was on the shuttle bus headed to school. There was a woman talking loudly and crassly about some medical issues she was dealing with. She was at the front of the bus, I was in the back and I could hear everything. I learned more about her issue in 10 minutes than her primary care provider probably knows.

I bet some would argue that there isn't a difference and talking in public is talking in public and that is what our society is like now. So now we live in a constantly accessible world- both information and ourselves are available all the time. People have issue with this at times. Privacy settings and controls in the virtual world are a huge issue. And yet people walk around sharing personal info about themselves and others. And for the record, I am defining this as information that would not necessarily be shared publicly. Another frustrating component of this is the offense people take in being asked to lower their voice while on the phone in a public place. So let me get this straight, you are allowed to share all of this information with the world and I am not allowed to ask you to be little quieter? Riiiight.

Sometimes when I am feeling particularly self righteous and/or frustrated about this, I'll jot down all the info someone is spouting out to world (on the bus, train, etc.) and hand them the piece of paper with all of their information. My favourite experience with this was a college aged man who gave out his social security number and card card number during a conversation.

I'm not saying that we cellphone owners should walk around not using our phones. I would simply prefer a greater sense of awareness within the community you are in at the time and embrace the reality that you are not the only person around, and that maybe, just maybe I don't want to hear about your nodules, drippings, weird growths or anything else... Unless of course, I am at work, if that's the case, I'm all yours:)

OK, vent complete.

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