Take a break from your phone
Sue is studying for a masters in journalism. She loves going out with friends for meals and drinks, but also tries to keep active by cycling and jogging.
Sue thinks that mobile phones make us rude and lazy, and their unnecessary features and gimmicks baffle her. She wishes we could all take a break from our phones and see whats going on in the real world.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not someone who refuses to own a mobile phone. In fact I recently took a quiz on the Guardian website which told me what kind of bird my mobile phone usage corresponds to. It turns out that I'm a: 'Pigeon - a common garden variety user'. I'm not too chuffed at being described as a flying rat, but the alternative was to be a Peacock who changes their phone every six months to keep up-to-date with the latest technology and watches films and downloads music to their mobile.
Why would I want to do that though? I have a perfectly good TV and computer which allow me to do these things with a big screen and in a comfortable environment, at the normal times when I should be doing them. Not all day, every day when I should be speaking to real people or doing some sort of healthy activity. I couldn't care less about the surround sound speakers the shop assistant was so excited to tell me about when I got my latest phone. "What, it comes with speakers?" I asked naively, "Nah, they're inbuilt, you'll really notice the difference". I really can't. It rings. Perfect. Why on earth would I need it to ring using surround sound?
Phones are also used as an excuse for friends to be rude when they haven't got the balls to explain themselves to your face. A feeble "Sorry, I can't make it" or "Sorry, I'm running a bit late" allows people to escape any responsibility for their actions as they can then switch their phone off and hide from your wrath. If you're going to meet someone, just be on time. Don't rely on the fact that you can send a text and be another half hour late. What would you do if you didn't have the phone? I'm guessing a lot more people would take the care to be on time.
When you finally do get time to spend with your late running friends, you then have to endure a night with a third person interrupting you all the time. Beep-beep. "Oh sorry I'll just check this", or "Oh, I need to take this call." No. You don't. That is the point of going out to meet someone, that you spend time with them, not so you can sit and text or call other people at the same time.
"While during a recent stay in a hotel with friends, texts were sent between rooms even though we were all on the same floor. Ridiculous!"
They also make people incredibly stupid when it comes to dating. Texts are over analysed for hours and friends are enlisted to discover the true meaning behind the words, even though the focus of your affections probably didn't think for more than two seconds about what they were going to say. The wrong tone in a message can cause major drama and stress, and let's not even get started on the issue of whether they've sent a kiss or not. Literally hours of our lives, when we could have been out meeting some far nicer hotties, have probably been wasted discussing a few words on a little screen to decide what they mean for the future of our relationships.
Mobiles are also to blame for introducing 'txt spk' into our daily lives. I still don't understand what the need is for this. All phones have predictive text, (although I admit as a 'pigeon' I am no phone expert) so why cut out a few letters from each word? It takes longer for the person to decipher it at the other end than the time it saves to just use proper English in the first place. People should also pay more attention if they do use predictive text - "Are you cycle?" Excuse me?
Maybe text speak is more about being 'cool' than anything else, but phones do make people incredibly lazy. My boyfriend, who's generally not an idle person, admits he used to phone his parents' landline to ask his mum to put some dinner on for him, when he was only upstairs in the same house. While during a recent stay in a hotel with friends, texts were sent between rooms even though we were all on the same floor. Ridiculous!
Most of all I hate that my mobile makes me behave in all these ignorant, tardy and lazy ways. There is a thin line between love and hate apparently, and my little Nokia slider might just be it. I don't want to act like this, but what hope do I have when I will be ostracised by my friends if I give it up? I'm addicted to the stupid thing and I don't have the courage to give it up by myself. I need others to rebel against the mobile and fight to return to a time when you could be certain your mate wasn't calling you from the loo. Which one of mine does, regularly. No one needs to be able to communicate all the time, especially not from their toilet.
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