Thursday, November 5, 2009

Cellular Phones

Five years ago, a certain pattern existed with our technological advancements. Our gadgets (i.e. cell phones, laptops, desktop computers, MP3 players and iPods) decreased dramatically in size. Remember when the Motorola Razor first launched? It was incredible - so small and lightweight. The perfect practical phone, of course, until its owner dropped the slim, fragile Razor on the floor, thus shattering it into several pieces. (I have seen this, it is true.) There is also the iPod shuffle - the size of an eraser. So small!!

Today, I glanced around a lecture room in Moore Hall at fellow students and I noticed a world obsessed with technology: two-handed texting; web surfing on an iTouch, i Phone, Blackberry, T- Mobile, etc; and 17" Dell and 15" Mac laptops resting on laps.

Two revelations became of this rather short gander around the classroom. First, our world has become intertwined with the world of technology. How many times per day does the average person check his or her email, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc? For students: In class, is your cell phone on a classroom desk visible to the professor? How many times do you check your phone in class? Thinking back to my high school days, I do not remember feeling a loss of self without a cell phone. When did such a gadget become so vital to our lives? Is it more important than sight? A couple of classmates I have met over the years would forget their glasses or contacts, but remember their phones. Huh? Furthermore, those who text tend to completely ignore road safety laws. Exhibit A: I was walking behind a college student who was listening to music (with earbuds) and texting. Sounds relatively normal, right? Well, this "educated"college student continued to text, without lifting his head to check for a clear crosswalk, and almost got hit by a car. Niiiiice.
As the Aussies like to say, well done mate.

Admittedly, I too, am a victim of this obsession. Fortunately, I do have some self control. My cellphone is not attached to my hip and I can go a few days without checking my email or Facebook (except during school, because it would be inexcusably unintelligent to ignore my uni's email account).

The second revelation was the incredible size of cell phones nowadays. Wow. Our wee gadgets are not so small anymore. Think about it, an iTouch (a device I love oh so dearly
) is equivalent to a 3x5 index card. Since texting has become more popular than talking on the phone, Samsung Rogue, equipped with a keyboard (accessible only by sliding the top half of the phone), has a width of 1-1.5 inches. The pockets of most skinny jeans would not be able to contain such a device. Just massive.

Undoubtedly, I think I will stick to the simple phones - my iTouch and MacBook Pro balance out my tech-savy-o-meter so it works out just fine. Flip phones have a special place in my heart , an unbreakable bond.

I would like to conclude this post with a few words of wisdom for which all states and countries should take to heart:
As a future New Yorker, texting, better yet cell phones altogether, should be prohibited while driving. Pull over the car if it is an emergency - as simple as pie.

As my sister (a New Yorker), Kathrine, says: "Follow the words of the wise my little grasshoppers."

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The Great Wall

The Great Wall
Beijing, China