Friday, October 06, 2006

John Scalzi's Weekend Assignment # 132: Cell Phones - Threat Or Menace?

"A man is about as big as the things that make him angry."

-Winston Churchill

(For this week's assignmnt, John Scalzi has asked us to view a short video, then respond with our opinions regarding the actions of those involved. You can find the link to the video over at John's AOL Journal... By The Way, or click the link below).

Weekend Assignment #132: Was that professor justified in doing what he did? Have people lost all sense of courtesy when it comes to their cell phones? This is a pure opinion piece here, folks - tell me what you think?

Extra Credit: Do you sometimes answer your cell phone at inappropriate times?

-John Scalzi

Sigh. Oh yes, the great debate of the new century continues. I kinda remember we tackled this very subject not too long age as a weekend assignment, but I could be wrong about that. It's certainly a timely subject, and it is one that remains a hot topic for many people, but I have to say... not for me.

Listen, inappropriate behavior has happened on both sides of this subject, enough so that I have become tired of the whole thing. The professor in this case had every right in the world to be annoyed at the student for bringing the cell phone to class with it turned on, however, as a professor he has an obligation to his students, and to himself, to behave as an adult. Destroying the private property of another because you are annoyed at their behavior is illegal. PERIOD! There isn't even a discussion to be had. Now, what about the absent minded student, who brought a cell phone to class? Well, common sense says that if we will be graduating these young adults out into the work force in a few years, we need to be treating them as adults now. Colleges and Universities should be adopting a blanket policy for certain conduct such as this. Some sort of penalty such as a letter in a file, or up to, possible expulsion.

Mike Kehoe, World Trade Center, September 11th, 2001

Now, John said he wanted our opinions, so here is mine. We are living in a post 9/11 world. The truth of the matter is, we don't know what tomorrow morning will be like. I think about the young fireman, later identified as, Mike Kehoe, who was climbing the stairs of the World Trade Center, as folks were evacuating. Someone with a cell phone, captured the last photo of this young man, in the commission of his duties...ascending the stairs to try to save the lives of those who were trapped and needed him. The person who snapped that photo from their cell phone, showed us one of the faces of those we lost that day. Mike Kehoe became a little more real, as we met this young man face to face. One more thing came out of the photo... his loved ones got to say goodbye a little more personally.

I am tired of this debate. It is old. In my opinion, the cell phone is not the most evil invention of the 20th century. It is a form of communication. I don't understand folks who have never owned a cell phone, yet complain so much about their use. I have been in restaurants when someone has been talking loudly on their cell phone, but to be honest, it isn't any more annoying then someone being loud with guests who are present at their table. Yet it seems that folks are willing to confront someone being loud while using a cell phone, but overlook someone being loud with in the company of others. Of course that is not a universal attitude. I don't pay much attention to what goes on at other tables, it's none of my business, and to be honest, it is more important to me how I behave then how someone else does.

I don't talk on my cell phone while driving. I don't talk on my phone while eating in a restaurant, and I don't scream my conversations. Frankly, the reception that we get on cell phones in 2006, doesn't require yelling in order for someone to hear you. A number of reasons went into our original purchase of a cell phone. I haven't shared much about why I became so psychologically ill a few years ago, but I will share a little bit here. I was someone's victim. So much so, that I was being stalked. Day and night. I ended up becoming extremely ill from the stress, and spent nearly three years asleep. Completely out of touch with the outside world, well, except for my computer. Some of you remember when you first met me through my journal on AOL, that I was very cautious, and very guarded... now you know why.

I couldn't face going out my own front door, even to check the mail. I went to my doctor's appointments, sometimes picked up something at the store, but I wasn't living a comfortable life, because of the fear I carried around. One day, Alan bought me a cell phone, so I could feel more secure about going out doors. I wouldn't be alone, I would have help at the press of a button. It gave me the confidence I needed. The cell phone wasn't the only thing that helped me heal inside, but it was certainly a big part of how I got better. I am now living a much more normal life, then I was a few years ago. So the next time you are thinking about how annoying cell phones are, think about how safe I feel, and how safe I am with that little invention. I don't really know where my stalker is right this moment, but I know they are still somewhere in the area. Sigh. But as long as I have my phone with me, I am never alone. And I am no one's victim!

Extra Credit: As I said above, I don't use my cell phone in my car or in restaurants. However, I did forget to turn it off once, and it rang during a session with Sarah. I didn't answer the call, that's what voice mail is for. :)

"Cell Noir"
Berkeley, California
October 5th, 2006

2 comments: said...

You hit it right on the head. Perfect Opinion!

DesLily said...

wow.. I didn't know all that about you Carly!.. I learned something today.