Tag Archive | "phone"

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Everything’s Coming Up Rosen: Cell phones and me — a rant

Posted on 08 August 2019 by LeslieM

By Emily Rosen



I worship Steve Jobs for his brilliance and creativity and the Smartphone (about his persona , another time). However, for all the ways in which he changed the world, not so much. He did indeed change it both for the better and the worse. And the totality of that Ying and Yang has often been explored, but I am somehow impelled to do it here. 

For the better:

* Cell phone parking lots at airports and the concomitant ease for people connections.

* The magic of texting when I’m at a meeting and the phone vibrates, and it’s a non-emergency (which, of course, it always is) and I can surreptitiously wiggle my fingers to assure the caller that indeed he or she will have my undivided attention — after the meeting — lest he or she feel ignored.

* The incalculable joy of knowing that only I will have access to my conversations — that no one (except maybe a couple of enterprising Russians) will be able to listen in on the “other phone.”

* The wonderful access to Google to find out the name of the female lead in that 1936 movie that most people I know who weren’t even born yet, had not seen … and my ability to bypass Siri for that information. Siri, who, God save her soul, is an ignorant idiot. (If that is an oxymoron, my apology to idiots.)

* Of course, the advantage (?– hmmmm) of being able to have human contact wherever I am and whatever I am doing.

* And I can count on you to fill in the missing advantages.

But for the inevitably permanent worse!

* Although I am “in touch” with many folks as a result of the iPhone — that most wonderful of the five senses — touch (skin to skin touch) is slip, slip, slipping away and some folks don’t even know how far gone it is.

* As a species, our very bodies are in transition — mutating, no doubt — heads down, fingers flying, eyes darting from other world-phone to the here and now place of reality. We have actually learned to be in two (or maybe more) places at the same time, and, the younger we are, the more natural it seems.

* And my personal abhorrence gets tested on an almost daily basis. When I am in a social setting with others, dinner, after-dinner … a walk … a beach-sit … a night on the town … wherever — I give the other person or people my undivided attention. But I am so old that I actually expect the same from others. (an unrealistic expectation, yes!) Is it possible that we never had “emergencies” when I was younger, living with land phones only, where people left messages to which responses were given within hours or days — not seconds.

Please, when we are together, turn it off, put it away, do not coddle it as if it were some small living creature needing the warmth of your hand. And fergodsake, please don’t show me your pictures unless I ask for them, and I promise I won’t force mine on you!

* Finally, however, I dare anyone to deny its highly addictive nature.

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Everything’s Coming Up Rosen: Smartphone-itis

Posted on 01 September 2016 by LeslieM

By Emily Rosen



Surely, you know it’s a disease. Of what proportions is unknown, as of yet. Will it show up in the genes of the next generation – and to what extent? Will human fingers mutate? This is also unknown. Some addictions, we know, pass down through heredity. So many words, so many articles, columns, books, discussions have been written on the societal “effect” of the smartphone. When do you not use it?

For me, the impact clicked when looking at the iconic over-the-top cartoon showing a car with “Just Married” emblazoned all over it. The bride, still dressed in her flowing gown, the groom in his groomsman’s attire, are leaning on the front car bumper as close to each other as strawberries and whipped cream with nary a sign of recognition of each other. Both are busy with their eyes lowered as they text (to each other?)

As with most impactful technological innovations, there is the good and the bad. It is wonderful to be able to communicate at an airport, to have the GPS lady lead you through mazes of unfamiliar miles to your destination, to be able to give a heads-up text to your significant other who is in an important meeting that can’t be interrupted, reporting that you won’t be there on time because of a flat tire. And it is great to get answers to the endless answers to questions about pure trivia from Google, like who played the lead in a 1972 movie, and to receive the myriad “alerts,” and, well, you know I could fill pages with this.

But the dislocated ability to confront people eye to eye says something important about relationships, as does the misguided need to respond to every signal. When the phone rings, why must it be answered immediately if it’s your sister and you are lunching with a friend or at a dinner party table? Yes; it’s good for emergencies, but not every “Hello. How are you doing?” is an emergency. And then, when you whip out pictures of your kids or grandkids or greats — about whom most of your surrounding companions care not a whit – is that an act of cluelessness or narcissism? The sheer discourtesy of being inattentive to your immediate surroundings speaks to misplaced priorities.

Personally, I am offended when people place their phones in plain sight in social situations – unless they declare some kind of expectation of an emergency. Perhaps, it’s my age, but it is not hard to remember a time when folks called on land phones and left messages when you weren’t home. They weren’t expecting an instantly gratifying response.

Many colleges have done serious research on the effects of slavishness to smartphones in regard to relationships. I’ve checked out several and learned of a predisposition towards feelings of rejection on the part of romantic partners when phones are used excessively. Google “smart phones and relationships.” You’ll be amazed at the abundance of scholarly interest in this.

Yes, yes, times are a-changing… but fast.

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Everything’s Coming Up Rosen: Where is Emily Post?

Posted on 04 June 2015 by LeslieM

By Emily Rosen



Emily Post – we need you now! For those of you to whom this allusion brings blank stares, let me fill you in: Madame Post was the guru of etiquette and manners for what is now the geriatric generation. She died in 1960, leaving a legacy of written material — books and columns – stating with no equivocation the rules of proper behavior. As far as I can tell, no one questioned her credentials in this regard, and most everyone who was anyone willingly acceded to her stipulations.

Fast forward to the world of today when concern for manners and etiquette are either at the very bottom of one’s “list of social reforms which I endorse” or they are the butt of parlor game jokes and Bill Mahr monologues.

In the world of body tattoos, nose and tongue rings, and cleavages by the acre, little attention is paid to personal image, common courtesies, table manners or offensive behaviors. A long time coming, but table manners is somewhat my theme for today.

Okay – so I acknowledge that table manners evoke images of dining as opposed merely to “eating,” which is often done from a standing position and/or from a takeout cardboard container reminiscent of pretty nearly every sitcom where the protagonists sit on a couch in front of a TV, mostly with chopsticks, slurping down intermittent swigs of whichever “cola” the networks get paid for doing “product placements.”

Dining, however, occurs when real people actually come together for social reasons in addition to gustatory reasons.

So my question concerns the “social reasons:” Can “texting” (or phone fiddling) at a dinner table be categorized as anything other than bad manners? And indeed, why is it so universally acceptable? Answer? Because it is so universal an activity — as in: everybody does it.

Well, I don’t! And I find it extremely offensive when others do it. Half the time, they are responding as if the person on the other end of the call is holding his or her breath and, that response-time were factored into their emotional well-being. The other time they are scrolling — unsolicited-ly — for pictures in anticipation of a few faux appreciative expletives in praise of appearance.

And it is so all-pervasive, this intense concentration on a small hand-held inanimate object that is close to containing all that matters to us in our lives. How scary is that? And how scary is it that this is fast becoming part of our DNA?

It is also fast becoming an “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” game. And this is what has thrown us so off kilter.

The other day, I was one of four people dining in a restaurant. The other three, during a break in service between ordering and receiving our meals, whipped out their smartphones. One was answering a call that was anything but an emergency and was engaged in a “regular” conversation. The other two were scrolling for a reference to some subject we had been discussing. These were not “dumb” people, nor were they in any other way oblivious of social mores, nor were they thoughtless, inconsiderate people. They were dear people and good friends who had totally succumbed to the cult of join-the-crowd behavior. Is it like climbing the mountain because it is “there?”

Where will it end? Emily Post, I’m afraid you are toast.

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