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Evil Jim

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12:00 am: There's more, but it could go for hours
I lose, I guess. I just can't compete with technology. It happens time & time again & I'm always the underdog. Yet again today I have been talking to a friend on the phone & just blown off because they had a call on the other line. Isn't there voice mail for this sort of thing? You know, the electronic successor to the answering machine which was a device that recorded your incoming calls while you were occupied with other things. Or was the Pentagon calling on line two? Or perhaps olde Jim was just too much of a drag to talk to for more than three minutes once the information needed from him was passed. I've been holding back for a long time but seriously, what the hell is up with the cell phones? Why are they so goddamn important? Why do people constantly place their calls above actual human contact? Is it more discourteous to let the call go to voice mail than to turn your back on the person you were just talking to? I'm getting fed up being treated like an old magazine. Or just something to do until the next call comes along.

It's an addiction & I have proof. Go to a movie theater & watch how many phones turn on as soon as the credits roll. All those little blue lights are folks checking for the precious messages they missed during the 90 minutes their phones were off. People have become so compulsive to answer their phones as soon as it rings that they tend to immediately disregard whatever prior situation they were in just to answer it. Many times a real-world conversation with me has been abruptly ended because a call came in that just had to be answered. Hell, one time I was having a great conversation with someone, her phone rang, she just picked it up & left the room. Not a second look to me, no word of excuse. Like I wasn't even there. And after it was over, like our conversation never happened.

This extends beyond phone calls too. Some folks may not notice but it's rather difficult to talk to someone while they are thumbing away a text-message, focused on the miniature screen & seemingly oblivious to anything else. Why bother continuing? They're already entertained so I might as well leave.

But maybe it goes further. Maybe it's personal. Perhaps it's just me that is inferior. I've certainly been on the low end when I'm calling cell phones. I've discovered the recipients were on the other line while I was leaving a voice message. I've been cut off, interrupted or drowned out by their real-world conversation. Maybe it's just me that's not worth talking to or visiting. I've certainly become inconvenient now that so many others are moving to the city. I'm not going to bother pointing fingers or writing up a list of exclusions to this rant. People can figure it out for themselves. I'm going to introvert for a while.

Stephen King retired a while ago, but he came out of it just so he could write a book about how much he hates cell phones. I'm beginning to understand.

- E V I L O U T -

P.S. In completely different news, I was playing Blasto for the PS1 earlier & started this rant when the loading screen kept on for a few minutes. Forty minutes later the next level finally loaded. WTF?

Current Mood: annoyedannoyed
Current Music: Blasto music recycling
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Comments

[User Picture]
From:toastmastertom
Date:July 15th, 2006 08:14 am (UTC)
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I'm, awfully sorry Jim. I really didn't mean to blow you off but the person on the other line was Mary, who I had tried to get in contact with before I had called you. I had intended to talk to her for a minute or two and then switch back to my conversation with you, but when I hung up with her, I inadvertantly also hung up with you. I wanted to continue our conversation but I had at first assumed that you had hung up with me, and...well, here we are. Again, I apologize, it was my fault. If you would like, I am not busy tomorrow morning (I work at noon) so if you'd like to give me a call then, I would gladly like to maybe spend time with you then (or maybe some time later this week?). Words alone cannot express how sorry I am that I made you feel like I was blowing you off. I am sorry. ;_;

(P.S.-I didn't mean to make you feel out of touch)
[User Picture]
From:sacredspud
Date:July 15th, 2006 02:16 pm (UTC)
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This sounds like a losing situation for everyone, then, since you always seem appalled when I ignore incoming calls. I generally don't take calls when I'm in a social situation unless I deem them important. That usually means that the call is either from my parents, my sister, or my roommates, since none of them call for frivolous reasons. I have been known, on occasion, to take calls from Ellen, since her work schedule is such that I'm usually either at work or asleep when she's available.

Re: Text Messaging; I imagine I'm one of the people you're talking about here. I always thought text messages were a good compromise, since I can do it at my own pace. I can watch a movie or carry on another conversation without compromising my attention. If the conversation slows down, it's because the other person seized up when the phone came out, not because I stopped listening.

I do, however, agree about call waiting. I ignore it because inevitably I have to tell one of the parties I'll call them back. If they're calling to relay a quick message, they can do it via voicemail.
[User Picture]
From:seanorange
Date:July 16th, 2006 08:28 am (UTC)
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I think what you said was right, up until the part where you thought it has something to do with you personally, and I don't see how that could be true. Regardless, Caleb's been trying to shame me (at least a little), so I'll definitely try harder.

~Sean
From:tcdohl
Date:July 16th, 2006 02:23 pm (UTC)

Sorry for the late thoughts

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I agree with you a lot about your various points. Pretty much all of them, actually. People tend to use cell phones as an extension of themselves; much like how if their arm or leg started hurting and they had to stop everyting and start pawing at it, a cell phone making noise is like a trained signal, almost subconscious - "stop everything now, I command it". This might only get worse as cell phones evolve from being simple social networking tools to PDA-type devices; imagine the cell making noise for not just calls or text messages, but email, news reports, porn, or anything else Relevent To Your Interests.

Face-to-face conversation, work, and other personal responsibilities might suffer less if people went back to using cell phones much like regular phones. It used to be that a phone ringing during dinner, conversation, leisure, etc. was a major and unwanted disruption, even if the call was expected. I don't know why this isn't true with cell phones. Part of it might be a convenience issue - if the phone is always with you, it becomes a part of yourself. Anyway, I'm not justifying the actions of anyone, just sharing some possibly interesting thoughts from what I percieve as too early in the morning. :)

I will also share that, as far as my own habits go, the fact that I have a long-standing phobia of phones in general, as well as that my cell phone was considered outdated over three years ago, keeps me from ever using my cell unless it's absolutely necessary. I'm less inspired by offense of other cell phone users (which I nonetheless acknowledge, especially while driving) and more by my dislike of talking on the phone.
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