How technology makes life better

I was riding the bus with Shuttergirl this morning, having a nice chat about Guitar Hero. (I was concerned that I’d been playing a litle too late and too loud last night; not to worry, she told me). There was a woman on the bus on a cell phone arguing loudly with the person on the other end. Granted, shit happens. Perhaps you think that your cell phone conversation will be brief and amicable. No problem, it could happen to anybody. The woman was obviously conscious of her demeanor and ended the call with the explanation that she was on the bus. It was at this point that things went badly. Not terribly, but definitely exemplifying one of the problems with cell phones. The woman’s phone rang. My thought was, “It’s the same person and the conversation went badly the first time. Don’t answer the phone while still on the bus, let it ring and call the person back later.” A reasonable thought, in my opinion. Nope. She answered the phone and went right back into the argument (I didn’t pay attention to the details). Again, she ended the call with the explanation that she was on the bus, only this time she explained that she would call in two minutes, when she was off the bus.

There seems to be some belief that cell phones are meant to be answered. And that those with cell phones should never be unreachable. Back in the olden times, for example, when people were running late, those waiting for them assumed they were running late. There was no expectation of periodic phone calls to explain the nature of the lateness. Similarly, if there was an important issue (especially a private one) to be discussed, it waited until everyone involved was in a private, quiet place, either on the phone or in person. Now there are people having obviously private, albeit one-sided, conversations in public for everyone to hear. People whine about “the man” infringing on their privacy, then go airing their laundry in public completely of their own volition. As you can tell, it irks me.