Monday, February 06, 2006

I will say right off the bat: I do not like cellphones. I am not against them per se, for they are a means of communication; I am against what they do to people.

I cannot count the number (and this countless number would probably be tripled if I wasn't hard of hearing) of times that I have been walking behind someone talking on a cellphone and overheard something like this: "I'm on Rose Street. I'm like a minute from the library. Yeah, I'm coming up the sidewalk. Okay, I'm right outside the library. I'll see you in 5 sec--whoops, there you are!"

Most of the time I overhear people on their cellphones, this is the kind of stuff they are saying. Literally. It bothers me that people will engage in such banal conversations. Are we so afraid of a mere five minute walk to the library that we have to fill up that solitude with something--anything-- that fills up the silence? Are we so afraid of being alone that we'll rush to fill it up with distractions--TV, computers, cellphones?

This might seem off-subject, but I was reminded of something Mom told Jon concerning his hiking: "You have to like yourself to be alone for extended periods of time in the wilderness. Most people couldn't handle that." I think this points to the root of the matter.

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