One device sits in the pockets or purses or bags of just about every American. A cell phone. And while these are obviously useful, practical devices that people like having, they create a vast multitude of problems.
1. People in America are horrendous drivers as it is. Put a cell phone in their hands, and they get even worse. My least favorite example is the middle-aged soccer mom in her luxury SUV, chatting away on her phone, oblivious to the fact that she is driving a three-ton steel object at 40 miles an hour down a busy street after dropping her kids off at school. Maybe if she put down the phone she’d actually be able to drive. Nah, then she’d just be sipping her overpriced frappucino from Starbucks while touching up her makeup.
2. Along similar lines, I have seen college students texting while riding a bicycle down the street. How on earth are you supposed to do that without killing yourself? Is your text message really that important?
3. Sometimes old people who don’t know how to set their cell phones to silent. Then their phones go off during church. Then they answer the phones and say, “I can’t talk right now, I’m in church, I’ll have to call you back later.”
4. As the residents of the 504 learned post-Katrina, text messages are much more likely to go through than voice calls because they use much less data. Yet cell phone companies will give you lots of voice minutes in your plan and then charge obscene amounts for texts, either by charging a certain amount per month for x number of texts or, even worse, charging a per-text amount. This makes no sense.
5. Speaking of texts, I realize their usefulness, especially if you need to reach a bunch of people at once. But I don’t get why people will send four or five texts back and forth, waiting a few minutes each time for the texts to go through, when they could just make a 30-second phone call.
If we could go back to the time before cell phones, I’d love it. Alas, they’ve become indispensable. I hate that.