Remember when phones were large and looked like this?

A replica of my first telephone

 

We have moved on from the early 1980s when rotary was the norm and push-button was for ultra-modern folks. I had a phone just like the one pictured above. I paid $1.50 a month and shared the phone with my sisters. Those were the days.

Today our kids clog the talkwaves wherever they are. Only they usually aren’t talking, but typing.

According to a Vondane Mobile survey, texting and calling habits vary drastically between individuals ages 13-24 and 25+. Here are some highlights:

  • Nine percent of people ages 13-24 send over 1000 text messages a week. (My thumbs hurt just reading this, much less typing it.)
  • The majority of teens/young adults age 13-24 only make between 1-5 calls a week. (And usually not to Grandma, but to their friends ~ at least at my house!)
  • Seventy-six percent of parents keep track of the number of calls/texts their children make. (I wouldn’t go near my daughter’s cell phone. “It’s like my diary, Mom. Hands off!” Okay…)
  • The majority of those surveyed say cost is the most important consideration when deciding on cell phone service. (Agreed.)
  • Seventy-five percent of those surveyed own an iPhone or Android phone.

Below is the state of telecommunications today. Where do you land on this spectrum? Text like a teen? Are you a Scrooge on Skype?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’ve ever been to airports with automated speed walk sidewalks, you’ll observe that about fifteen feet before the sidewalk ends, you hear a voice alerting you to your pending expulsion from it. Not so for real sidewalks on the street.

Photo courtesy of Ohio State College of Engineering

According to a New York Times report, a recent Ohio State University study about texting while walking and the 1000 reported injuries incurred by texting walkers points to an increasing issue of pedestrian traffic safety.  Ohio State University’s Transportation and Parking department is trying to offset the rising epidemic by putting up signs such as the one pictured here.

Or, as I like to say, “You text? You’re next.” That goes for pedestrians as well as drivers.

I can see it now. Sidewalks will soon be equipped with textured flooring just to alert texting pedestrians that a curb is approaching. Or maybe they’ll have recordings of soothing, yet urgent voices like the ones at today’s airports, pointing the way to safety and attention.

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California State Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill into law last year banning hand-held cell phone use while driving. Yet even his wife, Maria Shriver, finds it hard to adhere to the rules. CNN.com reports she was caught on film several times as she drove while chatting on her hand-held device.

It appears no one is immune to the multitasking temptations of our Digital Age.

Predicto Mobile CEO Eyal Yechazkell says break the habit by switching off the device altogether or, if in some cases, even find a support group to help.

It has come to this. We are our own worst enemy ~ pretty soon our hyperconnectivity will have serious consequences, yet no one seems to really take the issue seriously. Even Ms. Shriver has fallen prey to the allure of chatting while cruising.

My concern is people are starting to defend their right to carry (and use) cell phones in the car as many are about the right to bear arms. I’m not sure where this conversation will end ~bans themselves do not appear to be working. We need a collective dialogue about what is safe…and what is not. Until we raise our consciousness about these matters, the culprits will still be on the road in full-time distraction. Fasten your seat belts, people. We may be in for a rough ride until then.

Hubby Redemption

September 23, 2009

My way or the highway won’t for a good marriage make.

So when I find myself engaging in willfulness with my husband about this thing or that, I am humbly slapped down by universal forces that show me why Nature created diversity. And husbands who refrain from ‘telling us so’.

I’ll quit beating around the bush on this, and tell you I wrongfully accused my husband of losing my cell phone in a recent post. The reason I know this is that it was never lost in the first place. In fact, I found it carefully zipped away in my eye glass case after going through the trouble of locking the phone so you can’t call out (I still haven’t received the replacement card from the phone carrier).

I swear I didn’t do it. I don’t remember putting it there. Ever. Feeling the I-told-you-so’s crawling up my chin and into my mouth, I quashed the urge to continue the accusations by smiling meekly at my hubby, whose grin revealed why the power of slow is so good for impulsives like me who sometimes mess up with such speed and alacrity as to make our inner tortoise cringe.

I hearby redeem my husband’s good name for all eternity. Or at least until it happens again!