Electronic Communications–How to Break the Addiction

If there’s any one thing that makes me wish for TEOTWAWKI it’s people and their cell phones/iPads/iPhone/Blackberry, etc. 

How many times have you been talking to someone and they’re texting at the same time?  Or have someone answer a cell phone in the middle of a conversation?  Worse yet, how many fatalities out there on the roads and highways are due to texting while driving? 

Are you addicted?

It’s insane.  I’m afraid to run on the roads anymore because of the number of times I’ve seen cars swerve towards me while the driver is staring at a cell phone blissfully unaware of me diving into the ditch.

I see people walking along all the time talking or texting and I’ll say, “I hear they have surgery to help get those things removed.”  Most people laugh and nod because they know I’m right; however, there have been some people who got all panicky looking because they envision life without their beloved phone, or iPad, or whatever their gizmo of choice is.  Talk to these same people about crack, or cocaine or heroin and they’ll shake their heads and talk about how awful that kind of addiction is.

Guess what!  They’re just as addicted as the poor junky.  My nineteen year old daughter just bought a new Android cell phone.  Now when I’m talking to her all I hear is “ANDROID” in this strange mechanical voice coming out of her shirt pocket.  It’s pathetic.  Many times have I physically grabbed her cell phone and put it in my pocket so we could have a conversation.  She eventually learned that when she’s around me to put it where I can’t reach it or it will wind up in my pocket. 

That leads me to the cure – going cold turkey.  First of all, there really isn’t a cure once you’ve been bitten by the bug, but you can train people so that when they’re around you they know not to use the phone. 

CAUTION:  Using this method can and will upset people who are used to being in touch with the entire world.  You’ll interrupt important messages like “UR HOT” and “LOL THAT’S FNNY” and other bits of important information like that.

My favorite tactic is to ask to see the phone.  People love showing off their latest toy even more than they love showing off their cars or children. 

Here’s an example from last summer when I got the phone from my second cousin (age 16 years at the time.) 

Randi walked around for hours with her cell phone texting and calling her boyfriend in Virginia (and other friends I’m sure.)  Every time I tried to talk to her the phone would buzz or chirp or somehow divert her attention back to her little annoyance.

Finally I said, “Hey.  That’s a nice phone.  Can I see it?”

My daughter said, “I wouldn’t do….” but it was too late.

Beaming proudly Randi handed it over to me.  I turned it off and put it in my pocket.  Now some of you might question what right I had to do that; however, as a human being interested in her life and not having the opportunity to see her very often I wanted to engage her in conversation.   You would have thought I’d taken her newborn baby and left it to the wolves.  After a half hour I gave her phone back, but by that time we weren’t on speaking terms anymore; however, she forgave me the next day.   Grudgingly.

I know I’m old fashioned, but whatever happened to a conversation where you don’t have to wait while someone sends a “quick text” or takes a call while you’re talking?  IF I happen to be carrying my cell phone and it rings I’ll let it go to voice mail if I’m talking with someone.  Invariably they’ll stop talking and say, “Aren’t you going to take that call?”

No.  I’d much rather hear what you have to say in our face to face conversation than answer the phone.  Like I said – I guess I’m just an old fashioned guy.

What happens when TSHTF and maybe that crutch isn’t there to lean on anymore?  How will people cope?

What do you think?

-Jarhead Survivor