Monday, December 29, 2014

Random thoughts

We all have them, thoughts that come and go and leave us pondering the meaning of life. Important thoughts and speculation which leave us pondering as to, for example, who was that missed phone or cell call that didn't register on the callers list. 

Chances are nearly everyone reading this owns a cell phone. For the longest time, it was the be-all-and-end-all of my life's desires or at least close to that to own a cell phone. Why you may well be asking and the answer is quite simple: everyone else owns one.

The first challenge was to memorize the cell phone number. Life these days is so filled with numbers and codes to remember including passwords, and asking the brain to set aside still another set of numbers is asking a lot. The first challenge is to remember to put it on. The second challenge is to remember to take it with me and choosing which zippered purse compartment to store it.
Couldn't figure out why phone calls were few and far between for the longest time until it was pointed out that storing the phone in a purse muffles the sound of the ring. This became apparent upon checking the callers list with a long line up of messages. It now travels in a coat pocket within hearing range and where it can be accessed when necessary.

The proliferation of phones and other communication devices owned by everyone makes it difficult to distinguish which phone is ringing, generating everyone within hearing range to check their phones for visual and aural verification. Walking now is relegated to staring down at one's hand holding a communication device to ensure that every sent message is acknowledged and returned.

According to information gleaned from the Pew Research Internet Project focusing on Teens and Technology 2013 78% of teens own cell phones, and 90% of adults own a cell phone. That's a lot of talking on the go.


- 67% of cell owners find themselves checking their phone for messages, alerts, or calls — even when they don’t notice their phone ringing or vibrating.
- 44% of cell owners have slept with their phone next to their bed because they wanted to make sure they didn’t miss any calls, text messages, or other updates during the night. (

At one time and it wasn't "that" long ago but seems like ancient history, people connected with each other via a plastic phones attached to a cord eventually evolving into cordless phones for usage in the house. The phone rang, someone answered - or not - or an answering device took a message. In spite of installing all the call answering options including call display, the answering machine still has a function in our household. 

Somehow, we're at a place in society where we feel compelled to be in constant communication with someone, twenty four hours a day. The business community as a money saving move, presumably, seldom supplies a real human to provide information and instead offers callers a list of categories from which to choose, accompanied by numbers to press. While waiting to be served, we are supplied with vague electronic music or singers performing oldies with brief interruptions of: "please stay on the line to retain your calling priority." By the time a call is answered, one has forgotten the reason for the call.

Texting has eliminated the actual need to hear a human voice and thumbs have become a vital component or communication tool. Holding an electronic device and texting has turned into a fashion statement. Physicians could be treating carpal tunnel syndrome of the thumb at some point. But I digress.

We've come a long way from the first telephone call made by Alexander Graham Bell in 1876, spoken to his assistant, Thomas Watson, in which he said: "Mr. Watson--come here--I want to see you."


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