Graph showing smartphone sales by year from 2013 to 2022. — © AFP
One of the most common jokes in stand-up comedy is phones. “Current kids…” or “I married the wrong number”, etc. The trouble is that these things are a real barrier to communication in person and on the phone.
Phone culture is just another global catastrophe. Phones are exciting, convenient, fun … And they take a lot of time like nothing else on Earth. These are interrupt factories. As soon as you focus on your one idle neuron, they interrupt you. When you are interrupted, they interrupt the interruption.
telephone etiquette must be one of the most useless search themes ever devised. It flows into everything else, as the phone is involved in everything you do. There is no etiquette. Everyone “knows” how to be polite when they get a call in a meeting. Of course they do. Doesn’t matter. Moreover, you can disturb everyone else with your phone call.
Phones and kids
Phones are a great way to stalk kids and negotiate with parents about phone use. The problem of bullying is still relevant 20 years later. Injured children may carry it for the rest of their lives. You have a lot there.
Too many risks. A fabulous new birthday present becomes a menace. That nasty conversation happened here, so you need a new phone. Children don’t have enough scar tissue to deal with this.
Parents too. The added security risk in this happy little world may be more than gnashing teeth can bear. It is a worry on top of other worries. Think hard about how to deal with it, because you will have to deal with it.
Communication, you say?
It is a matter of opinion how much more inefficient this process can become as a form of communication. The golden rule is that all phone calls come at the wrong time when you can’t handle them.
I can visualize an entire stadium saying, “I’ll contact you,” at the same time. Perhaps even worse is the fact that when you answer a phone call in public or among colleagues, you think on the fly.
Your response to the caller may leave something to be desired socially, even for yourself, not to mention other people. Others might think that you are a real person or something like that. However, you can prove otherwise with your phone.
A phone is a potentially dangerous thing by definition. If you are glued to your phone, you are also glued to every conceivable unwanted interaction with anyone who might call you. It is a social burden, not an asset.
The other good news is that you are paying a fortune for all these portable horrors. In fact, you are paying good money to be interrupted any time someone wants to. Performance? Forget it. There is no such thing as “downsizing” when doing something on the phone.
There is also no privacy. Like a security risk, telephones are a separate industry. Your whole life is visible. Even that tense pizza phone call is around here. Texts, emails, voicemail, whatever. It’s all there. This can lead to a lot of pretty expensive trouble.
Your phone is also a great excuse for others to load you with their problems. They sent you a message that the work should be done 2 weeks ago. It’s registered. They can prove it. All you can prove is that the job wasn’t done then and that you had a lot of messages.
Most of the technology on your phone is outdated. This is a package of technologies, not necessarily something new. Approximately half of the equipment is about 50 years old. Some of them are less than 10 years old, but not that many. The sheer hysteria about new features somehow ignores the fact that most of them aren’t new.
Remember when 5G was about to change the world? This is wrong. 6G is currently under development and the main thing right now is that 5G is the gateway to 6G. Who would have thought?
It’s all just for communication from A to B.
This is literally all you really need.
In the past, what was 5 seconds ago for telephone brains, there was such a thing as shut up. It was considered prudent, even sane.
There’s an old Roman saying: “If you kept your mouth shut, we’d think you were smart.” There is a German saying, “Shut up when you’re talking to me,” which is also very useful in many social and business situations.
The last thing anyone thinks about is functionality. You need a form of communication. You must control him, not he you.
Turn off the damn thing.
Keep on living. Instead, live life.