Zone38 Presents...
Letters to the World

31-Dec-2002

Can you hear me now? Good!

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 1:36 am

Yet another pointless rant brought about by one of Kat‘s blog entries (originally posted as a reply to said entry, and now in a slightly better organized and edited form here):

I’ve never understood what drives people to hold long conversations on their cellular phones while walking around, riding in the car, etc. Admittedly, I feel this way in large part because I’m an Extreme Introvert™, but that’s not the main reason I detest such cell phone abuse; after all, I’ve been known to hold long, engrossing conversations with people (whether on the phone, via IM, or face to face) when I’m in the mood to talk and given that they have anything interesting and reasonably meaningful to contribute. But thirty or more minutes of what basically amounts to small talk, or, for that matter, of discussion of intimate personal matters I had no intent of ever wanting to overhear? Blah. I’ll pass, thank you.

In addition, my ADD-addled brain can’t quite grasp how someone can operate a car while chatting on the phone, even when using that phone in hands-free mode, but I figure it is very much possible given a more “normal” mind. Heh. Even then, it still seems rather risky and dangerous…libertarian that I am, I nonetheless wouldn’t have many qualms regarding basic limitations on the use of cell phones by drivers.

It’s not just in the car that phones can be annoying, though. Classrooms, theatres, presentations…you name it, I’ve heard someone’s mobile phone start going off, wailing like a synthetic banshee, as the owner attempted to shut the blasted thing off before everyone else in the room viciously attacked– that is, if they bothered to take any action at all. Some people would just have it continue ringing, acting as if they were oblivious to the butchered, square-wave rendition of Für Elise blaring from somewhere in their immediate vicinity.

Oh, and on a related note, with the exception of the polyphonic ring tones on newer phones, I find many mobile phones’ ringers to be absolutely cacophonous. I know I’m showing both my geekiness and my age, but it reminds me of the very limited PLAY command in GW-BASIC– except that my old computer’s cheap tone generator still sounded more melodic than many of today’s cell phones. Yet, for some reason, I’m charmed and amused by the simplistic, monophonic rendition of the Liberty Bell March which my dad’s phone uses as a ring tone; go figure…

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