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Friday, June 30, 2006

Reinventing The Phone

I just got a new cell phone. That in and of itself is not news, but man, do I ever have a phone now.

Between times when I'm not receiving phone calls, I can now take pictures and make 20-second films to my heart's content. In addition, I can download ridiculous ringtones that identify my friends. Thus far, I haven't truly taken advantage of this new toy, as it was hard enough just reprogramming all of my saved phone numbers into my new phone.

Despite the constant warnings of brain tumors and oncoming auto accidents which I'm sure to receive because of my new cell phone, I am enjoying the world without a wire. My wife and I haven't had a home phone in about three years now. We are a strictly cellular couple. Cell phones have increased my interest in talking on the phone. I hate the telephone as a rule. I always feel like the person on the other end of the phone is rolling their eyes and making masturbatory motions whenever I'm talking.

The art of conversation is one that's dying. My grandmother died at the age of 96 this past December. Now THAT was a lady who knew how to converse. There was many a time when I would sit down in her living room and talk about anything that possibly happened to pop up that day. With her unique view of the world, having lived through two World Wars, the Great Depression, the early days of aircraft and space exploration, Korea, Vietnam and virtually every important milestone of the 20th century, she could hold an audience like no one I have ever encountered before or since.

I can't find people like that anymore. With the death of conversation and letters to the birth of cell phones, text messaging and e-mail, true sharing of ideas has been abbreviated into incomplete sentences and emoticons to the point where nobody really bothers to think anymore. While I'm happy to be down to one cell phone, I do not converse via a happy face.

For now, I'm going to enjoy my new toy and think of those days when a chat on the front porch could teach you more about the human condition than can be gleaned in this world of ours nowadays. If you know me, feel free to give me a call. As long as the battery on my cell phone is charged, I'll have something to add to the conversation.

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