Cell/Mobile Phones!

The concept of a cell/mobile phone has amused me for quite a while now. I have a land-line which has an answering service component so, if I am not there, a message could always be left for me. Of course there are times when I cannot be urgently contacted but then…. would I really ever need to be? Isn’t that where emergency services provide their service?  Needless to say that, while I could see the appeal of a cell/mobile device, I could not justify the cost and ongoing expense based on simply a convenience factor.

Another issue I had was with the cell/mobile users. Distracted driving is a major issue here and a number of people have been killed as a result of the call/text taking priority over diligent driving. Was the phone call or text really that important?

There are those who will cross roads while on a call, and without considering the traffic status. We regularly hear about fatalities caused by people just stepping into a road while being focused on their cell/mobile!

Given the apparent shortcomings of human nature in the context of these devices, I had to really think carefully about a recent offer to buy me a cell/mobile device. I would be responsible for the ongoing costs of the service. Did I really need one? Eventually, the potential benefits (and the “new toy” perspective) won the debate and I agreed to the offer.

I was soon driving around with my cell/mobile in my pocket when it announced a new text message. Knowing that it was highly unlikely to be urgent, and yet wanting to know what it was about, I pulled off the road and checked it out. I was  so pleased with myself for having that discipline.

The past two weeks have been spent staying with my daughter in the general Vancouver  area. She has, like most people I know, owned a cell/mobile for a few years now, and she was thrilled that I was “catching up with the times” at last!

One day, we were walking down to her local supermarket and, just as we approached a side road, my cell/mobile announced a new text message. Without thinking about it, I pulled it out of my pocket and scrolled over to see who it was from. Melanie called out  “Dad! What do you think you are doing? You just walked into the road without looking!”

Feeling rather guilty (as I should of course),  I focused on crossing the rest of the road so we could then go straight into the store. Once back on the sidewalk, I once again scrolled over to read the message which, while certainly not urgent, did expect a response. I have not mastered the art of creating text while walking, so I stopped. As I started creating my response, Melanie called out “Dad! You are standing in the middle of the entrance and stopping people from going in!”

While I was happy with my self-control while driving, my focus as a pedestrian clearly needs a  lot of work. If I work on nothing else over the next few weeks, I really must concentrate on, and exercise, due diligence and courtesy. Cell/mobile phones are certainly very convenient communication devices, but can be annoying to others…. and downright dangerous if they are allowed to take the focus away from more important matters.

If you can relate to my experiences in any way, then please  join me in establishing responsible and safe priorities. The next time your cell/mobile announces a message (or call), then first assess your circumstances before answering. I cannot imagine how those people who caused a fatality due to them answering a call/text while driving, can ever come to terms with the result of their impatience.

Will I be keeping my cell/mobile? Yes…. I really like it, but I must develop some responsible user skills!

40 thoughts on “Cell/Mobile Phones!

  1. Texting while driving is really a NO NO but answering a call while driving can be accepted if there is a Bluetooth headset that will automatically answer the call without pressing any and the volume must not too loud. But there are people who can’t do a multi-tasking, so better not to answer a call if that’s their case.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Interesting thoughts but the problem, from my perspective, are the people who cannot multi-task but tend to believe that they can. This is similar to the drinking drivers who believe that he/she is a good driver after a few drinks because they concentrate more. As a species, we have a lot of failings revolving around egos, pride and self-serving actions. 🙂

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  2. Good Post.
    I disciplined myself not to text walk, often times when i see people text walking they are always bumping into other people, which can be so annoying…

    It’s good we be self conscious and stay safe when using our device.

    Another safety tips when using our Mobiles:
    Always Disconnect your Mobiles from Electricity before answering or making a call..
    Thanks for sharing…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Cell phones are the equivalent of electronic opioids. The endorphins of seeing likes and responses tantalizes the brain almost beyond our control. Good luck mastering the rudimentary skill of moderation. It’s tough but can be done with practice. 😇

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have so missed the wit and wisdom of Colin and Ray! I hope this means that you will be found waiting in my inbox again. I am somewhat surprised that you had not joined the cell phone generation, as I thought I was the last holdout. Even the technology challenged self has had one since 2003! That said, my phone has few capabilities beyond simple call making and receiving. It does have minimal bells and absolutely no whistles. I am presently contemplating a serious upgrade, but indecision is impeding progress. Texting is somewhat abhorrent to me, I want to hear a voice! I do agree with your assessment of the many dangers that inattention may bring, one must always be present in the present! Thank-you and Welcome back!!

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  5. I have one, I love gadgets. I don’t get many calls or texts except from the wife. She wears out the phone texting. I told her once, her and the kids act like the text will dissolve, if they don’t stop what they are doing and check it. I never get in a hurry to answer the phone, or return a text. They can be great assistants, but I am determined, not to let mine control me.

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  6. I find that a good plan for me, is to put the phone on do not disturb mode (driving, sleeping, work, etc). For the rest of the time…I make it a rule to sit down to look at it. I can’t be caught off guard being tempted to look at it while I should be concentrating on something else!

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  7. Welcome to the 21st century, Colin. Cell phones are so helpful, such as when one of us is out (like at a store) and the other one remembers something else for them to pick up. We’ve cut costs by eliminating the home phone. When driving I will check a text when I am sitting at a red light, while keeping one eye on the light so I don’t hold up traffic. And as far as distraction when talking on the cell, well, I find a passenger much more distracting! What I find rude is when I am visiting with someone and they stop to read and respond to a text that is just for fun.

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  8. I have a smart phone but only use it for emergencies. I rarely get a real (legit) call on it and since I don’t give the number out to anyone but friends, rarely a text unless it’s from someone telling me they are going to be late. However, there have been a few occasions where it came in handy to look something up. Just wish I was better at using all the features. Wish it would have been available when I was a teenager! I would have given it a good workout.

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  9. You made me smile and thank you for that! I got my first mobile in 1994 from my employer who insisted that they should be able to contact all employees at all times (we did a lot of traveling in those days). I learned very early on to mute the sound while on the road and only checked in when safe. I still follow that routine, but yes, people seem to have mobiles attached to their ears at all times and one has to stay alert on the road.

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  10. Congrats on your “new toy” 🙂
    Yes, they can be very nice to have but as you realized, they can also make it easy to do some dumb things without thinking!
    It is very important to be responsible with them. I like to think that I am for the most part, but I still do some dumb things at times.
    I wish very much that more people would wake up and realize the danger in texting/calling while driving, like you pointed out. Unfortunately there are too many out there that still believe it won’t happen to them, that they can manage driving and texting. Sadly all it takes is a matter of seconds for tragedy to strike!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. We never wanted a mobile and only got one as it was a gift from FIL when he upgraded his! Now we have just the one, an old nokia that sends and receives calls and texts only. Good enough for us in an emergency, and something I can handle! if we don’t wnt to be contacted, or I’m on my own and driving, I switch it off!

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