As far as I am concerned, i Phones and other products of the like are now cooler than neon spandex was in the 1980s or Kanye West’s music is to the current white middle class.
I do not personally own an i Phone or Blackberry, but that does not keep me from participating in useless phone conversations in order to kill time.
Moments of downtime that perhaps used to be time for quiet thought or a casual conversation with someone nearby are now filled to the brim with ‘texts’ and ‘widgets’ — it seems there’s not a moment that goes by now that can’t be occupied by this tethered technological gadget.
Chris’s article also brings to mind a few interesting points about our “cell phone society”, about the way cell phones have affected communal spaces and how they have changed how we interact with one another.
A time when you might have sat for a moment in silence, read a book without interruption, or chatted with someone nearby, instead of constantly grabbing for your phone to send a text or check e-mail?
It’s hard to imagine, but just give it a try: can you remember life before you had a device with you, at all times, everywhere you go?I cannot imagine that the Blackberry is very far behind, and I can guarantee that Santa Clara University represents a couple thousand of those in active use and another couple hundred that are now broken from using them incidentally as coasters, bottle openers and napkins.In any case, they are being used as much as 15-cent ramen packets are used in my kitchen. Put a digital one on your phone, name him Lemmingwinks and feed him when you feel like it; he will not die if your phone runs out of battery.Today’s post is about the gadget that has wormed its way into the life of over 80% of American’s lives, and explores what it’s like to live in a world where quiet, un-connected moments are few and far between, increasingly replaced by the twitter of texts and cell phone chatter.Guest poster SCU student Chris Kelly explores this everpresent issue in his article It’s annoying, but I find myself doing it. A time before digital contact lists, when you memorized your friend’s phone numbers?A time when if you planned to meet someone at a specific time and they were late, you’d just have to hang around until they got there?This “absent presence” is all too common on college campuses, as Chris writes, where students are glued to their cell phones, chatting or texting, paying attention to their miniature screens instead of what is actually going on around them.It can be almost comical to observe “absent presence” in the classroom, where rows of students are eagerly texting away on their cell phones before, after, and during breaks in classes, often at the expense of talking to their peers sitting right next to them. Psychologist Kenneth Gergen thinks that this erosion of face-to-face community is a moral failing; Rosen adds, “It would be a terrible irony if “being connected” required or encouraged a disconnection from community life — an erosion of the spontaneous encounters and everyday decencies that make society both civilized and tolerable.” Is there merit to Gergen and Rosen’s point?Though the program has yet to be officially approved by Apple, I have approved it as totally hilarious and totally necessary for those who order a liter of cola at the concession stand.So should we continue to embrace these technologies with eager fingers?