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!