By Lynn Moncus: Local columnist
Cellular phones are a great invention albeit they have become quite a public nuisance and a major distraction for drivers. Just watching people using them is an entertaining pastime, and listening to the users talk a top voice gives all within earshot an idea of the subject under discussion. Many of us have come to appreciate the people who let their phones vibrate instead of play outlandish tunes the interrupt thought in any surroundings.
Of course, I have one of the little gadgets and have been told that I can be heard for miles without it and even cause the listeners on the other end of the line to go deaf after the first should. I think because it is such a little gadget that I must should in order to be heard, and other people seem to feel the same way because they surely talk louder than those trying to converse in their area. The smaller they are, the more volume we use and may think those around us need to hear what we are saying no matter how trivial the conversation.
Actually, those of us who tend to wander off alone feel a little more secure by having a way to call for help in the event we have car trouble or to call from the canyons just to hear ourselves talk. They are also handy in the event the phone in the house goes out of commission, and we need to talk to someone to see what is going on in the rest of the world. If we happen to get lost, we can also call to get direction to our destination. They are good insurance any time we are traveling and can even come in handy if we are in the backyard and can’t open the gate.
Recently, I though of another excellent use for them, especially in public. Many of us who live alone tend to talk to ourselves on occasion and may forget where we are and strike up a conversation when we are in public. By plastering the phone to our ear, we can carry on such a conversation without the listeners around us knowing that we are merely talking to ourselves but don’t want to embarrass our selves by sitting over a cup of coffee and carrying on at a great rate. People tend to look askance when someone is sitting g alone at a table and talking to the air. Now, they won’t know what we are doing just that because we haven’t even bothered to turn on the phone.
We could also suggest that a new course be added to school curricula in order to teach the proper use of the cellular telephone. We are told that course are still offered to improve manners, and another addition could be quite helpful. The first rule might have something to do with knowing how to turn off the phone when in a public place, such as in church, at funerals, in restaurants and in classrooms. We could easily come up with a semester’s worth of work and could incorporate the 3 R’s along with a few other subjects to enhance educations.
Of you hear my cell phone ring when I’m having coffee with friends or alone, the next sound you might hear could be my feet stomping on my purse. That would be more appropriate than my borrowing an officers’s gun and shooting it. Let’s enjoy the invention and use it when necessary, such as walking around the grocery store and talking to ourselves because we can’t find all the items on our list.