Cellphones: Our distracting dependency

Nowadays, many parents give their children phones at the age of 10. My father refused to give me a phone till I turned 14 because that is when I started wanting to be more independent by going to the movies, mall, friend’s house, etc. all by myself. However, now you can see kids texting, talking on the phone for hours and checking their facebook constantly throughout the day. You can even see business men/women, teenagers and even older people talking on the phone everywhere. People constantly are attached to their phone to deliver messages to people everywhere. As a matter of fact, mostly everybody depends on it.

People never realize the benefit of cellphones. Just over 50 years ago, people could not instantly contact another person at will. They had to use some land line or mailing service. This may not seem like much of a change, but think about how different your life would be without cellphones. How are you going to contact your parents or significant other when you get into an accident on the road? How are you going to contact the person who forgot to pick you up at the airport? How are people going to contact you when you are at the gym, studying, locker room, doctor, work or wherever?

This past summer I was staying in Lewisburg and my phone broke. I couldn’t get a new one for four days. The first day was kind of relieving, but after, I was lost. I couldn’t call my friends, parents, girlfriend, boss or anyone when I needed them. I was literally stranded if I was not with someone. I couldn’t even access a landline in the fraternity house because there wasn’t one. Then, even if I could, I didn’t know anyone’s number because they were all saved on my phone. I was literally left without a means to communicate with almost anyone. Luckily, I knew my parents number and could talk to them with my friend’s phones.

Now, what if the whole world suddenly lost the ability to use all cellphones? People wouldn’t have friend’s cell phones to use like it did. People’s world would dramatically change. For the first few weeks, many people wouldn’t even have land phones. That means that you would not even be able to contact them. Even for the people who do have land phones, people could only call them with another land phone.. This would drastically change all of our lives. Business men and women couldn’t instantly contact clients or suppliers. Parents could contact kids to see how they are doing or where they are at. Friends couldn’t always talk to another friend at will. People would be forced to memorize numbers and names. They would be forced to actually READ in waiting rooms instead of play games or catch up on facebook on their phones. People would be forced to actually commit to their word more and not be able to back out without screwing another person over because they couldn’t contact them last minute. People wouldn’t be able to contact 911 as easily. There are endless parts of our lives that we would have to change. The beginning stages would be extremely hard to get use too.

However, people would eventually adapt. It would then become the norm and people would be like “ah remember the days we could just call our friends in the car.” However, adapting would not come easy. Our societial social structure would change. People wouldn’t be able to contact someone on their personal phone. They would have to call their landline and hope their home. This would cause people to socialize more with people who live closer and are easier to contact. They would naturally seek out people who are easy to contact because it is the most reliable option. People would need to be less dependent on instant data, and more dependent on people’s word. You cannot instantly tell someone that “you can’t make it” or “you’re running late.”  Overall, it would be more like the 50’s when people were close with neighbors and kids played with neighbors in the yard (but now it would probably be an x-box).

Overall, life without cell phones would completely change. Just think how life without ALL phones would change. It would be catastrophic. But, the good aspect about just cell phones disappearing is that people would be forced to be in the present. They would probably start seeing the world in a different way. People would be less distracted with all the current data everyone is bothered with now.


5 thoughts on “Cellphones: Our distracting dependency

  1. I agree that the world today depends heavily on cell phones. I was discussing this recently with my roommate. Think about it, when you call someone you think you are calling THEM directly. Kind of like the phone and the person are one. People are expected to carry a phone with them everywhere and I know that if I stopped answering my phone people would start to worry about me (mainly my mother). They would think I was hurt or something bad happened because they can’t reach me. It’s crazy how much power a phone has. I know I used to have a phone in middle school purely for contacting my parents when I had to be picked up after sports practices. Now my phone is always right next to me. I hold it when I’m sitting or put it on a table so I can see it if it rings. Also, the second you misplace your phone you instantly freak out! When did these small pieces of technology become a part of US!?

  2. I definitely agree that cell phones have become a huge part of our lives. Even grandma and great grandma have smartphones now. I think that if cell phones stopped working, the older generations would have an easier time adapting, since they lived a majority of their lives before cell phones existed. However, our generation would have a huge issue…there would be mass hysteria and a lot of crying…but, like you, I too think this would be a good thing. Maybe people would talk face to face, instead of looking down at their cell phones 24/7. One good thing that has come from cell phones, however, is the ability to get help quickly. Countless lives have been saved in emergency situations. For instance, car accidents. Without cell phones it would be hard to contact 911. Minutes can be the difference between life and death in those situations.

  3. I agree with your post in a lot of different aspects. I think that cell phones have revolutionized communication in the worst way possible eliminating all aspects of direct communication. I mean why would you actually go through all the effort of starting up a direct conversation with a girl at a party when you can just hide behind text messages sending absurd emoji’s and smiley faces. Cell phones have become so advanced you can actually express emotion over just a few words in a text message. Humans always have and are supposed to live in a social habitats and cell phones are taking this aspect of life away from us.

  4. Back in the dark ages of “land lines,” in my distant childhood, we did face the terror of having to use rotary land lines. We called them “phones.”

    We did have to adapt,as you describe. At first, we had a simple technology to cope with the problem of the non-availability of the intended call target, i.e. the person you are calling. First, if that person was not at the “home,” someone else who answered the phone would use this pre-texting technology called “paper” to write down a message.

    Of course, teen-agers are moronic, self-centered twits. So paper did not always work. Then some clever monkey invented this device called an “answering machine.” It was like voice mail, but used a tape recorder.

    After we listened to the messages, we would go out side and watch the trees grow as there was nothing else to do.


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