I have attacked cell phones (many times) and their addictive effect on many of their users..or should I say “Dependents”?
I am not a total Luddite about cell phones; I had one for a couple of years after I nearly did not make it through a terrible blizzard in 1997 when my colleagues and I were let out much too late on one bad day. That was a day I thought someone would find my frozen body the next day, a la the 19th Avenue tragedy of 1984 when several people died in their vehicles trapped in the underpass on 19th avenue west of NDSU.
But I thought of a very good reason I like cellphones….just for a minute anyway.
Before cellphones, rural people who were within distance of the roads people drove on routinely.. (and we were in that category)..we and others were rudely awakened in the middle of the night by a drunken driver or drivers who had gone into a ditch and wanted to get help either by using our telephone or by asking if we could pull them out of the ditch. As soon as alcohol was detectedd we were totally unwilling to “pull them out of the ditch”. It got to the point where the rude caller on the back porch was given this choice:
“No you may not use our phone…stand on the rug and I will make one of three calls….your choice…. to your (wife, parents, a wrecker, or the Sheriff” ) It was not a good choice any of the ways—- but it did not stop them from coming to our door at any time of night. Until cellphones.
That never happens anymore.
I used to have nightmares about headlights coming up our driveway in the dark of night…I don’t dream that anymore. Also thankfully!.
Any rural resident who agreed to “pull” someone out of a ditch with a tractor or other capable vehicle was subject to be held accountable for any damage to the vehicle. ( To say nothing of the stupidty of “being used ” by people who got themselves into their own fixes.) Therefore the refusal to be sucked into such a situation. With the advent of a sue-happy society, Good Samaritans resisted the desire to help the drivers who had driven into a ditch or into a huge snowbank on a road that was closed in the winter. Drunks do not read signs very well. Or they think that they–and they, alone, can drive through any snowdrift or huge bank of solidly packed snow.
So on the strange coming to me of such a thought, I am able to say that cellphones have a good purpose when they are not used to talk incessantly when 1. driving in a car 2. walking the aisles of a big store talking loudly to some unseen person at the other end of the cellphone, or 3. in a crowded restaurant either shouting about some business deal or some very personal thing in one’s life.
I still will never understand the need of addicted cell phone users to do those things …irritating those who are forced to listen and be drawn into the inane conversations.
But I still have not poured a glass of ice water over a loud obnoxious cellphoner in a restaurant or shouted at someone doing the same obnoxious bevhavior in a store aisle.
But it could happen. Look for me in the published police records in “Assaults”.
I might be there one day in the future.
As one advances in age one becomes less concerned about saying or doing things that you would have never have done in your 20s-30s or 40s.