While walking the streets (in the non-prostitution sense) I Can't help but notice how many people are talking on their cell phones as they hurry past. I'm not one of those technology haters who believe in boycotting cell phones, since I doubt I would survive without mine. I left mine at work the other day and I felt practically naked without a phone, especially since I don't have a land line in my apartment. Anyway, not the point, I digress.
It just seems that there are more and more people talking and walking. Besides noticing the incredible talent this takes on busy streets, it's made me wonder if people are really talking into their mobile phones for conversational purposes or if they are only clasping the metal pieces for protection purposes. In a city where eye contact is minimal, I can't help but wonder if cell phones have become to mad sidewalk dashers what earphones are to subway riders and books are to table-for-ones.
Do we chat because it is the only time we can talk to someone, or are people scared to walk alone? Maybe cell phones are like cigarettes for the non-smokers, something to hold onto in a crowd.
I know when I am standing awkwardly outside of a restaurant, waiting for a friend to arrive, I'll whip mine out in public and dial away ;). Even when I have nothing really important to say, I just don't want to stand there with nothing to do. I especially noticed that I call more when I'm feeling uncomfortable or well, bored.
I know it's the bored factor in my mother's case, since she calls me whenever she is alone and has a cell phone nearby. In the car, leaving work, she will call me or another friend just because she cannot stand not talking for those five minutes. I tease her by saying that I am not her "phone whore."
Now that I am more conscious of the possible psychological reasons behind my cell phone dialing, each time I grab for my flip phone in public, I have to ask myself, do you really want to talk or are you wimping out and using it as a social crutch?
Fusion TechForum takes my cell phone usuage idea a step further.
PS: I have a new weekly blog renter: Thoughts Outside My Head, by a thirty-something from the Midwest whose writing her own novel. Be sure and click on the screen capture of her blog, it's on my left side column.