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I bet you're gonna get a lot of comments on this post! Here are a couple of examples of poor cell phone etiquette from my own experience:

* a coworker in a nearby cubicle whose ring tone, "Amazing Grace" played by an army of bagpipers, blasted away at what was apparently the highest possible volume setting every time he received a call.

* a boss who frequently interrupted team meetings for up to five minutes at a time (or more) to take personal calls from her teenage daughters while a captive audience (her staff) squirmed, watched the clock, and waited for her to finish.

That kind of cell phone collateral damage is bad enough, but I think I'm most annoyed when I'm trying to have a conversation with a cell phone user who's clearly doing (or trying to do) something else at the same time ... making a sandwich, washing dishes, driving, etc. I can almost hear the sound of the other person's mind wandering in and out of the conversation. It's like talking with someone who's half asleep.

Aside from its obvious usefulness in emergencies, I think the cell phone may be the biggest setback for human consciousness and self-awareness since the television, another technology with some positive attributes that's been used, for the most part, as an electro narcotic.

The great thing about cell phones is that now we can get a blow by blow of a person's movements as they go about their daily, mundane, business.

Here is a conversation I overheard while sitting on an airplane as people boarded (I kid you not):
"Uh huh, I'm getting on the plane now. Yup, I'm walking down the aisle to my seat. Uh huh, I'm putting my luggage into the overhead and taking my seat now. We're supposed to be there around two, I'll call you when we land."

I could hear THAT conversation in my head. "Uh huh, we're pulling into the gate now. Yes, I'm standing up to reach for my luggage now. Yeah, I'm walking down the aisle to get off the plane. Ok I'm standing on the escalator on my way to baggage claim..."


Hi Rick,

Electro narcotic. Oh I do LOVE that. That is so true and can be said of so many things. My nephews electro narcotics are his video games, which I despise. Thanks for coining the term.

I also love my cell phone for emergencies. I no longer have to worry about having car trouble out on the road and not being able to find a phone. But inconsiderations such as the ones you described almost outweigh its usefulness.

Thank you again for the lucid comments.

Hi Jss,

That is exactly what Im talking about! I have to listen to these same conversations on the bus.

Im on the bus.
Were at Oltorf and Congress.
We just passed the HEB.
Im going to get off at Mary and Congress.
Yeah. I have to stop at the bank there.

And so on....

And yes, youre right. It does stick in your head. I keep hearing that even after I get off the bus. As Im listening I keep wondering, who is listening to that on the other end??? Do we not have anything better to listen to?

Thanks for the feedback.

I'm getting an illegal jammer for the shelter. 30 foot radius is perfect coverage. Thanks for the tip. (I'm joking...more or less.)

Ha, ha! I'm so jealous.

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