Can you fucking hear me now?

Put the goddamn phone away. Seriously.

Day and night, you’re cramped over the thing, neurotically hammering out  yet another worthless text message or just futzing with the goddamn thing. You’ve just GOT to have your fingers wrapped around it, like a four-year-old boy who grips his penis incessantly.

God forbid you find yourself with more than 25 straight seconds of inactivity. You’ll have to reach for that phone. Is there a new text? Maybe it chimed and you didn’t hear it. No message? Hmm. Maybe you can go in and change one of the 8,000 possible parameters, like the one that lets you set your wallpaper to sequentially display the last 10 photos you took. Oh, look! You can even add some cool wipe transitions. Alright!

This is what you look like.

No message, no incoming calls, no cell phone activity at all? No problem! Just fire up any number of tiny-screen games or “apps” that help make your 3-inch life so much better. Why don’t you fire up Happy Dangy Diggy and blow someone a virtual kiss. How cool would that be?

Better yet: let’s get on the 3G network (the one’s that setting you back $110 a month) and try to look at some website that requires endless zooming and scrolling and paging and futzing. Anything to keep your face buried in that goddamn phone.

"Hey! Guess what I'm doing? What? Can you hear me now?"

Most of all, it’s critically important that you are talking to somebody about whatever, whenever. Solitude is for losers who don’t have a crystal-clear network, right? Nowadays, the concept of rudely ignoring those in your presence is known as “get over it”.

Making a purchase? The cashier can go fuck herself because you are within your rights to yap on the phone to your bestest friend about how much it cost to get your car fixed last week.

On a date at a nice restaurant? Whatever. That ringtone means it’s Kayden and she just got botox! OMG! Touch touch TOUCH THE PHONE! That guy will get over it. Fuck him anyway. As long as he pays the bill and and settles for a blow job later on, he’ll be fine.

Speeding down the highway? That’s the best time to pick up a call from Jared. It’s really important: Jared just got home and he was wondering what you were up to. Like, not right now now, but, like, what you’re up to later. Yeah, so you weaved a little. Nobody got hurt, right?

Concentrating on what's important.

I’ve fucking had it. You people are crazy. Yeah, I have a cell phone. But its most powerful feature is the “ignore call” button that shuttles people to voice mail when I’m doing things like – you know – interacting with my fellow human beings, driving a car or just enjoying a bit of quiet time.

Texting? Fuck that. Not in a million years. I can understand why children like it; they can send each other messages like “Ur a FAG LOL!” and nobody’s the wiser. But if you’re an adult and you have something to tell me, you can call me if its urgent or email me if it’s not. Texting me is like saying “I can’t be bothered to talk to you, and your precious few hours away from a computer screen don’t deserve freedom from interruptions, so here’s a goddamn text message.”

At this point, I’m probably losing friends, but I don’t care. I refuse to become one of the dual-thumb craned-neck masses. Instead, I like to use my mobile phone as if it were (get this!) a telephone. I like to talk to my friends and family on it. I like to confirm times and dates and just chat about our lives. I love all of you. I really do. When we’re apart, it’s important to me that we can talk.

0110 1000 0010 0001!...............1101 0011 0010 1110!

What I won’t do, however, is join you in this mobile phone madness. When I’m out and about, I want to see, hear, smell and experience that hi-resolution interactive experience known as “outside”. No iPod, no ear buds, no tiny screens, no ads. We can talk, though. Just don’t be surprised and hurt if you go to voice mail. It’s not that I hate you; I’m just busy with real life at the moment and I’ll get back to you later, I swear.

Remember before cell phones? When we had a telephone in the house and if you weren’t home, people left messages? Was that life really so bad? Did thousands of horrible deaths occur because you couldn’t get a hold of Lori to tell her that “Pretty in Pink” sucked and Kathy Jenkins puked up buttered popcorn in the lobby?

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not a Luddite. Having a portable personal telephone was a futuristic dream that has come true. It’s easier to coordinate with people and share information. But do we really have to be buried in the things all day and night?

Hot or twat?

I was biking home a few weeks ago. Some assmunch with one of those kiddie trailers got in the bike lane in front of me. He reached into his pocket and started fiddling with his phone, swerving into the road a bit. He corrected himself and slipped the phone back into his pocket. Then, not 30 seconds later, he pulled the phone back out and started futzing with it again. He swerved once more, this time causing traffic to avoid him. Rather than put the phone away for good, he simply darted his gaze between the phone and the road more frequently. For safety.

It has gotten to the point where attending to our cell phones is more important than the health and safety of our children. Furthermore, we’re willing to pay hundreds of dollars a month for the sheer joy of being an oblivious asshole.

You’ll never hear me say this on any other subject, but in this case I believe innovation should be halted. Mobile phones should be re-purposed to be…telephones.

You may now commence with the hateful denunciations. I can hear you now.

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6 Responses to Phwned

  1. B-Bro says:

    Dude – I hear ya.

    I *HAVE* a cellphone and it hasn’t been charged in 5 months. Wife insisted we get them. I hate them. If people want me, call my home phone and leave a message if I’m not there, or email me. If you’re a member of my “group” then message me on Facebook, fer chrissakes. It’s not that hard. Dear fuckwitz of the universe: YOU DO NOT have some God Given Right to my time and attention, at any time for any reason. Don’t like it? Fuck off, dill rods.

  2. Kristie says:

    Suppressing the urge to text you…incessantly.

  3. JS says:

    I concur.

  4. Hindu says:

    I can’t believe I spent ten precious years of my life engineering aaaaaaaaaaa… uGGGGG, I admit it,,,,,,, CELL PHONES! But one of the coolest inventions was the “anti-gadget” called Firefly, the mobile phone for mobile children. It had 3 main buttons. Call, mom, dad or home (later became a small phone book or only 20 #s). No Text. No Games.
    Though it was made for the youngest of children, I now thing it is appropriate for Us Fucking Adults! ha ha ha…

  5. admin says:

    @Hindu: the Firefly sounds like a great idea. I’m all about simplifying complex devices for…simpletons (or in that case, for little kids). My cell phone use is similarly simplified: I scroll through my contact list and click on whatever sorry bastard I want to call. That’s it. My phone (a RAZR) does other fancy crap, I’m sure. I wouldn’t know because I just don’t care.

    It’s not the technology itself that I abhor. It’s the neurotic behavior of the general public that freaks me out. You can barely tip your hat and say hello to people on the street anymore; they’re all pre-occupied with their little social defense mechanisms. It’s been a huge boon for hot chicks, I guess. Most hot chicks are buried in their cell phones in public. This limits the possibility of some aging horn-dog like me bothering them with stupid questions like “Would you like to have sex with me on that mailbox?”

    We all hate what reminds us of ourselves, and I confess I spend too much time online and not enough in meatspace. But goddammit, when I’m in meatspace I want people to be offline with me, not locked into a tiny glowing Internet. *sigh*.

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