One time I was sitting on a bench in the hallway of my university, waiting to get into a classroom. I always arrive ridiculously early, so I can have time to read or study before class. I couldn’t concentrate on reading or studying because I was too busy watching the students on the benches beside me.
All of them had their Blackberry phones out and were texting as madly as if their lives depended on it. I realized I was the only student, all the way down the long strip of hallway, who didn’t have a phone.
Later on, I was in my dorm room, talking to my roommate about it. She said something that scared me. “I got my first cell phone during my senior year of high school. And now I can’t live without it. If I leave it off for a few hours or go somewhere without it, I get calls and texts from people who want to make sure I haven’t died or anything. It’s like… I’m dependent on it.”
She wasn’t the first person I met who said something like that about their phone.
Phones can do pretty much anything these days: they have a GPS, an mp3 player, a camera, a little keyboard, Internet access… you name it, there’s an app for it.
But being dependent on an electronic device? That’s a little spooky.
In my mind, the best use for a cell phone would be in emergency situations. If you see an accident happening, or are in danger, you can speed-dial 911 and get help.
When people ask for my cell phone number, I have to tell them I don’t have a phone. I get reactions like, “How do you survive?” “Don’t you have any friends?” “What will you do in an emergency?”
My answer: “How did we ever survive, maintain friendships, and handle emergencies before cell phones?”
I’m not trying to be stuck up. It’s an honest question. Why have we become so “dependent” on a little electronic device? Who knows… maybe it’s something I have to have a phone to understand.