Monday, July 26, 2010

Cellphones give people a "licence to interrupt"...

Traditionally, when someone is engaged in a (face to face) conversation with someone else, it would be considered rude to even think of butting-in or interrupting that conversation.

In recent times though, every human being who has any kind of ear or mouth, has equipped themselves with a cellphone.

Mobile phone evolution (Japan 1997-2004)Image via Wikipedia
These technological marvels basically allow any other ear / mouth equipped human being, to abruptly barge into your life, without much prior warning or notification.
Sure there is that ringing noise that tells you to drop everything you are currently busy with, but that's about it.

Seriously though, how many times have you found yourself leaping to get to your ringing phone while you were already in another conversation, or busy doing something else...?

Hey I do it, and the problem is that we do it without much consideration of what is actually going on.

Somebody, somewhere else, has just decided that they need you to attend to them, right this second. So forget about that other person you were talking to, or that important job you were just busy working on.
Nope, I need to talk to you right now.

Chances are, once you are finished with the call, you will probably forget what it was that you were doing when the damn thing rang in the first place...!

Voicemail is the obvious workaround, but I find that it can just stress me out to know that there is an urgent message, just waiting to leap out at me from that virtual voice that lives somewhere in cellular cyberspace...

How would you manage this problem, or maybe you simply don't give it that much attention?
The bottom line is that cellphones are supposed to make our lives simpler, easier and safer, but they do so at a price - they can add a heck of a lot of stress in the process.
I can still recall back in the 80's when Telkom landlines were the only form of communication available - that and faxes... :)
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