Monday, May 22, 2006

post the seventy-fourth

I found yet another perk of being a writer for the 100 Hour Board tonight. My contact mistakenly wasn't able to record the season finale of 24, so Uffish Thought and I pulled some strings and managed to get invited to a huge 24 party hosted by one Jono of Divine Comedy. I also ended up getting some free food from Cafe Rio out of the deal. Pretty sweet, if you ask me.

I had actually intended to blog about the etiquette of the cellular phone in my previous post, but was prevented from doing so by a sudden attack of gratitude for everything I'd ever received. Rest assured that such a wave of gratitude isn't going to strike me now. I'm doing my best to think selfish thoughts so I won't be distracted.

So the cell phone. I blogged about this some time ago, but feel that I have more to say on the subject. It's interesting, but we have a peculiar set of social rules accompanying cell phones that seem to supercede normal social norms. At least, so it seems. For instance, I've always felt it rude when people answer their cell phone when it rings in public. It seems rude and unfeeling to me when someone interrupts a conversation with me to take a call that could easily be returned in a few minutes. After all, cell phones are designed to record who called, what their number is, and when the call was received. You don't even need to redial the number; rather, you can simply call them back with the push of a button. It's wonderful. Wonderful enough that it makes it terribly easy to be rude to people standing next to you in favor of those on your phone. How lovely.

But is that really all that rude? Don't we do the same thing when people call us at home (at least, those of us that still have a home phone)? I know I've interrupted conversations with people in my apartment when the phone has rung. I don't even think I excused myself to take the call. Yet no one I know of has ever been offended that I took a call while speaking with them. No one seems to mind if I answer the door if it knocks. What makes a cell phone so much ruder than a home phone? Is it the fact that you can carry the annoyance wherever you go? Are we simply conditioned to accept inconveniences when we're at home, but refuse to tolerate them in other places? That seems a bit counterintuitive; after all, we should be least likely to tolerate interruptions when we're at home and at our leisure.

I don't claim to know the answer. I just follow along with everyone else. I get annoyed at cell phones like others do. It almost feels like the trendy thing to do. My mom and my sister, two of the last few remaining people on Earth without cell phones, caved in and joined the wireless army a couple of days ago. I doubt it will be too long before I give in myself. I keep telling myself that I'll be a considerate cell phone user and never do anything to inconvenience my fellow man, but that remains to be seen. I'll probably catch myself doing something annoying that I told myself I'd never do, like talking loudly about my prostate problems while on my way to class.

Actually, if I end up with prostate problems at age 23, I feel like I'll have earned the right to talk about them as loudly as I want, wherever I want.


Tolkien Boy said...

Don't cave in. It's a sickness. And don't you dare take a cell phone to your graduation. It's rude.

Stephen said...

Ah, but it's a sickness that brings so much convenience and ease to your life. Just imagine all those long walks across campus, when all you have to do is think about your last class, or the next one. With a cell phone, you can call anyone and chat for a few minutes. It's an odd sickness - it feels like a blessing.

Petra said...

Heh. And if you take a cell phone to your graduation, for heaven's sake don't answer it! I called a friend the other day and chatted with him for about five minutes before he said, "Look, I'm on the floor of the Marriott Center, about to graduate. Can I call you back?" I was shocked and appalled.

Speaking of shocked and appalled, though, I don't want to hear anything about prostate problems. Urinals are quite bad enough, thank you.

the pope said...

If you ever get a cell phone and I find you talking on it in a study place in the library, I will kick you in your spleen.