Friday, April 12, 2013


Why do you love your cell phone?

Is it the way it looks? Or how it behaves -- that it's friendly, astoundingly easily to handle, as it gives you access to -- wow -- practically everything in the world?

Facts from The Week magazine:
"Mobile use has tripled; most people spend 1 hour &.27 minutes per day on the phone. Most people check their phones at least once, every hour." 

I checked other online sources that said, most folks check their phones 150 times per day, once every six-and-a-half minutes, or nine to 10 times per hour.

I found similar facts in Pew Research Center's summary, The Best (And Worst) of Mobile Phone Connectivity." Click the link to The Best (And Worst) of Mobile Phone Connectivity, and read how people sleep with phones next to the bed, and how often different age groups check their phones.

It freaks me out -- millions of people spending hours, every day, with their heads bent, crouched, hunched over this shiny thing they've bought -- bought into -- because billionaire businesses have spent billions on making them think it's wonderful.

My son, JD Cullum, phoned the other day -- thrilled, excited about his new phone. Gushing about all the business and personal and recreational things he can do just by fingering the phone's face, he sounded as if he were climbing the ladder of life just by caressing it.

I'm shuddering. A booklet arrived from Dell computers (I use one) promoting "fingering." New computers are imitating phones that are obsolescing the computer.

I don't finger. I type-talk fast -- uninhibitedly, free as a bird -- with fingers on a keyboard, as I create my blog, plus stories, essays, poems, plays, novels on my computer, even though the market for my writing is changing -- yep -- it's fading away.

Sci-fying my concerns about this, I'm picturing the future -- maybe someday we'll stick a suction cup on our foreheads that inputs words and pictures, or perhaps reading will become brain food you swallow on a tablespoon.

Cell phones is a subject I've blogged about four times. My main moan -- do phones harm you, do they cause cancer? Though reports from many reliable sources have said YES, the truth is obfuscated by all the tests, the reassuring statistics that cell phone manufacturers keep providing.

Okay, answer this question: How many times a day do you check your phone -- play with it, test it, admire it, or seek information from it? Now, take a moment -- ponder, plan, picture what your life would be like, without a smart phone.

Be brave. Take a week off. Try living for seven days without touching your cell phone. And see how much fun it can be when you're free as a bird.


Poet_Carl_Watts said...

Interesting article. Yes, I've wondered about cell phones, I did an article too. For information and communication, they are great. But as entertainment sources, they are gobbling up people's lives. They suck up time that should be spent talking to the person next to them. Or perhaps some idle time to merely think creatively. Will not happen when the phone dominated the time!

RCToyPalace said...

Well, to be honest, the cell phone isn't my best friend, Em. I do not own one, as of yet.

Linda Phillips said...

I've had a cell since 1993. I bought it out of necessity when I also had to buy a car. I have had a whole bunch of models over the years, starting with a small brick and now a very slick Android.

I have a cell mearly for convenience and safety. Without going into details, I have a disability which makes walking very challenging.

For years I had a "grandfathered in", super cheap, monthly deal with Verizon.

I had been "jonesing" for a Smart Phone for a few years. I now have a great phone with a not so great company, MetroPCS. I took it because there is no contact and it is only $40 a month compared to $60 with all of the major providers.

I bought it because I love gadgets and because my old Dumb Phone was becoming old and obsolete.

I rarely use it. I use it when I am out, if I need to contact someone or as a second phone at home, if I need to keep my landline open.

It has all of the "junk" that comes with every Smart Phone and on occasion I will use it for Facebook. Do I really need this type of phone? NO, but I have to admit it is a lot of fun.

Carola said...

I could see myself becoming addicted to a smart phone. But for the last 10 years I've had a phone which I mostly use when traveling. I buy the minutes ahead of time, and spend only $50 per year.

kitjoegia said...

It is crazy isn't it! Watching people texting instead of talking to the person they invited to have coffee with. I only use mine if I really have to.

Mary Russell said...

I was probably one of the last people to get a mobile 'phone (as I call it) but now I couldn't be without it especially as it's an iPhone so I really do have the world at my fingertips.

For me, it's a news source, music player, weather forecaster, social media device, dictionary, encyclopaedia and everything else all wrapped up in one small gadget. I never leave home without's the first thing I turn on when I wake up and it's the last thing I turn off when I go to sleep. So I guess I really am hooked. Although, in my defence, I don't use it when I'm in company as I think that's just rude. But whenever I have a spare moment during my busy, busy day, I check my electronic "friend" to see what's going on in my cyber world. :)