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Cell phones: Can't live without 'em!

Posted Sunday, October 16, 2011, at 8:04 AM

This is my latest cell phone. Unfortunately, I couldn't get another orange one. You may notice that this one is as low tech as possible--no texting, no taking photos, no playing music, no surfing the internet. All I want is a phone!!
Living with a double-edged sword

Few things have marked such a difference in my life as my cell phone. As I sit here this morning, I try to remember back when I first bought my old bag phone. I thought it was the greatest thing ever--to be able to call someone from my CAR! Wow! I kept the phone long enough that my daughter was making fun of me by the time I reluctantly gave in and got a modern cell phone. I remember the student I had set up the phone for me, and, judging from when she graduated, the year must have been around 2000.

That doesn't seem right--surely I've had a cell phone most of my life! I can't imagine how I ever traveled these country back roads and dark highways without one.

I've clung to each cell phone, as it gave up the ghost and had to be replaced by a "new and improved" version. I'm not a big fan of "improvement," holding fast to the archaic belief that "if it ain't broke, don't fix it!"

I want a phone--not a portable computer or a camera or a typewriter. I want big keys that are easy to see.

When my daughter took me to replace one of my old phones, she cut the saleslady short--"Don't give her a complicated model--she won't learn how to use it! Give her your most basic model!" That has been my mantra from the beginning.

As for the texting feature, I'm fine with that, if it's what people want to do when they're not driving! I am horrified by what I see in HALF the cars on the road--drivers TEXTING as they turn corners, pass other motorists, come up to stop signs, and drive up behind cars that are slowing in traffic!

And, I hate to be harsh on my own sex, but ladies, from what I see, you're the major culprits! The texting isn't confined to the teenagers, either--not by a long shot!

My informal estimate is that 2/3 of the women in this area of southeast Missouri are either on the phone while driving--or worse--they're texting! Don't tell me that you don't have to take your eyes OFF the road when you text! To my knowledge, no one has come up with a device which operates by thought patterns.

According to AAA, use of a cell phone quadruples the driver's chance of being in an accident. 94% of drivers believe that cell phone usage is dangerous--a fact I find hard to accept, considering how many people I see doing it. The AAA survey also says that 87% of U.S. drivers support legislation to ban the cell phone from our driving experience. Yeah? I doubt that anyone in THIS area was polled!

Innovations and "improvements" continue in mobile communication, and the future is going to be an amazing place! As far as cell phones go, someone needs to come up with a method to cope with the problems we face as we roll down the highway at 70 mph, talking to Grandma about her chicken n' dumpling dinner!

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I'm behind you all the way on this one! I sometimes wonder if people see themselves through the same eyes they see others through. The ones where you are no different to the person next to you, and are not immune to being in an accident. That replying by text while driving, to your daughter about a problem in her pregnancy is really no different to a teen texting about what accessories she will be wearing tonight on a big date. Justifying your behavior as "it's different though" does not mean there will be different results.

Maybe it's just me that has passed my expiry date, and if not for the emergency aspect of my SVC phone, would happily live without a cellphone. While my minutes cost me under $10/month, I can't help but also wonder what a difference it would make country wide to people's budgets (and time management) if phones where for calling and not social networking 24/7 and random(albeit amusing) apps! Perhaps age has made me realize I'm not likely to look back at the end of my life and say "gee, I regret not having spent more time on my phone!"

-- Posted by BountifulButterfly on Sun, Oct 16, 2011, at 11:24 PM

The cell phone and the automobile each as individuals items have given us many benefits and comforts. Almost all of us now know the saddeness coming from trying to use both at the same time.

-- Posted by gdh1958 on Sun, Oct 16, 2011, at 11:41 PM

I barely trust myself to change the radio station in my car, so you won't see ME texting as I drive down the road. It wouldn't be a pretty sight--seeing me weaving all over the road, and I would be pulled over for suspicion of driving while intoxicated!

HOWEVER, I could not function without my iPhone, and I changed to it kicking and screaming. Now I love it. Same with texting. I finally bought a few texts per month, and now I'm on unlimited. If you want to stay in touch with anyone younger than 50, you'd better embrace texting.

Just not when you're DRIVING!!!

-- Posted by lovebooks on Mon, Oct 17, 2011, at 8:06 AM

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Madeline DeJournett
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Madeline (Giles) DeJournett is the Advance writer for the North Stoddard Countian. A retired high school English/history teacher, she spent 32 years teaching in 5 schools in Missouri and Alaska. These days, she lives quietly with a menagerie of wild and domestic animals on 52 secluded acres in the remote Tillman hills south of Advance. She graduated from Dexter High School in 1960 and Southeast Missouri State in 1964. She can be contacted at advancensc@sbcglobal.net.
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