Thursday, October 05, 2006

My Cursory Response to the Weekend Assignment

Weekend Assignment #132: Was that professor justified in doing what he did? Have people completely lost all sense of courtesy when it comes to their cell phones? This is a pure opinion piece, folks -- tell me what you think. This is something you could answer in the comment thread, but remember the idea is to write it up in your own blog/journal and then drop a link in the comment. If you don't have a blog/journal, of course, feel free to comment here in the thread. Extra credit: Do you sometimes answer your cell phone at inappropriate times?

Sorry, John. I don't have time tonight to load some amusing, outrageous or thought-provoking video on dial-up.

Let's see. My opinion on cell/PCS phones:
  • Not a good idea to drive and talk at the same time. Half of the near misses I've had trying to get to the other side of the Crosswalk of Death involved people with phones to their ears. But yes, I've occasionally spoken briefly (less than two minutes) on the phone while driving. Shame on me.
  • It doesn't bother me at all to see someone talking on the phone in a grocery store or on the street, or even at work; but talking during a class, a movie, a concert, church, etc. is not acceptable. On the other hand, I pretty much never hear someone talking on the phone in a movie theater, concert, class, or mass. Most people just don't do that.
  • If the phone rings in church, in class, etc., I'm liable to grab the phone, snarl "I can't talk right now" at whoever was gauche enough to call, hang up, and turn off the phone. But I don't turn off the phone when I walk into church. I only get about one phone call a month on it, anyway. I mostly use it to tell me what time it is, and to look up phone numbers. Really, it's primarily there in case of emergencies, and to stay in touch with doctors' offices, and so people can reach me when I'm online, which is always. And occasionally I call my dad from the upstairs hallway at Unnamed Largish Company, usually on my way back from lunch.
  • My theory on talking and driving, for what it's worth: the inside of one's car is a private space, psychologically. It feels like home, and nobody outside the car is going to hear what you say (unless you shout through open windows). It's also "dead time" of non-productivity in the average person's busy day. It therefore feels like a useful time and space to take car of private phone calls, almost as natural a venue for them as the house or the office. Only the knowledge that you "shouldn't" do it weighs in against this impulse, and that's offset by everyone's belief in themselves as safe and competent drivers who won't be distracted as other people are. Of course, this is an illusion, but that's how we feel, and feeling often trumps rationality when it comes to things we want to do.
It rained here today. It's not supposed to do that in October. I have pictures.

Heading into a very busy weekend. I'll write when I can.


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1 comment:

Paul said...

In the video, a professor is trying to lecture and someone's cell phone rings. The professor tries to ignore it, but when the student in question actually answers the phone, and begins to carry on a casual conversation, the professor walks over, takes the cell phone, and smashes it on the floor.

I suspect it was a set up.