The Learning Curve

New tricks for an old dog.

Why I hate cell phones

I’ve always considered telephones to by like ticking time bombs, at worst, and never any better than a ticking alarm clock. The time bomb metaphor is better because it emphasizes the unpredictable-ness of it all.  Even when asleep, I know when the alarm clock is set to go off with a jangle, a shriek, or a clip from the 1812 Overture.  But, not so with time bombs and cell phones.  It’s like a pocket full of random disruption.

Paying for a series of rude interruptions coupled for an incessant demand for immediate attention.  Stop the presses! We have incoming!

I’ve had the bad attitude about cell phones since before they were invented.  I didn’t like ordinary handset telephones either, but at least I could get away from them.  I sure didn’t yearn for the day when I carry a phone around with me.  I’ve been told that Club Med became popular with harassed executives in part because it had no telephones.

I’ve had the attitude and I’ve expressed the attitude, and all my friends know my attitude, but they just think I’m nuts.  Now, however, I have found a bona fide psychological justification for my attitude, formulated in the 1960s by fellow Hoosier Kurt Vonnegut.

I thank Michael Sacasas for explaining it to me so clearly in his The Cost of Distraction: What Kurt Vonnegut Knew.

“We have happily assimilated ourselves to a way of life that provides us with regular and constant distraction.”

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Written by Tom Fox

08/22/2010 at 5:17 pm

Posted in Rant - minor

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