Everything's Coming Up Rosen

Emily’s been writing a column, essays, travel stories, profiles, features for over 20 years. Her work is available for syndication and reprint.

CELLPHONES AND ME- A RANT

 I worship Steve Jobs for his brilliance and creativity and the Smartphone. (about his persona, another time) However, for all the ways in which  he changed the world — not so much. He did indeed change it both for the better and the worse. And the totality of that Ying and Yang has often been explored but I am somehow impelled to do it here.

 For the better:

     *  Cell phone parking lots at airports and the  concomitant ease for people connections.

     *  The magic of texting  when I’m at a meeting and the phone vibrates and  it’s a non emergency  (which of course, it always is) and I can surreptitiously  wiggle my fingers to assure the caller that indeed  he or she will have my undivided attention — after the meeting — lest he or she feel ignored.

     * The incalculable joy of knowing that only I will have access to my conversations– that no one  (except maybe a couple of enterprising Russians) will be able to listen in on the “other phone”

     *  The wonderful  access to GOOGLE  to find out the name of the female lead  in that 1936 movie that most people I know who weren’t even born yet– had not seen… and my ability to by-pass Siri  for that information– Siri,   who , God save her soul, is an ignorant idiot. (if that is an oxymoron,  my apology to idiots)

      * Of course the advantage (?- hmmmm) of being able to have human contact wherever I am and whatever I am  doing.

     *  And I can count on you to fill in the missing ADVANTAGES.

 But for the inevitably permanent WORSE!

      *Although I am “in touch” with many folks as a result of the iphone — that most wonderful of the five senses — TOUCH — skin to skin touch —  is slip slip slipping away — and some folks  don’t even know  how  far gone it is.

    * As a specie, our very bodies are in transition— mutating, no doubt. – heads down, fingers flying, eyes darting from otherworld-phone to the here and now place of reality. We have actually learned to be in two (or maybe more) places at the same time — and the younger we are, the more natural it seems.

    * And  my personal abhorrence gets tested on an almost daily basis. When I am in a social setting with others — dinner, after-dinner –a walk –a beach-sit -a night on the town — – wherever — I  give the other person or people my undivided attention — BUT  I am so old that I actually expect the same  from others. (an unrealistic expectation, yes!)  Is it possible that we never had “emergencies” when I was younger, living with land phones only, where people left messages  to which responses were given within hours or days — not seconds.

 Please, when we are together, turn it off, put it away, do not coddle it as if it were some small living creature needing the warmth of your hand.  And FERGODSAKE, please!! don’t show me your pictures unless I ask for them and I promise I won’t force mine on you.

 *Finally, however,  I dare anyone to deny its highly addictive nature.