How Cell Phones Have Changed Us

Indiana Academic Super Bowl

It was fun over the weekend to observe, for my first time, an Academic Super Bowl. My youngest daughter was on her school’s team.

I learned many things, mostly centering around how much I don’t know. What is an abundant number*? Tell me something about Thisbe. Lots (and lots and lots) of things about volcanoes and the earth’s plates.

We spectators were relegated way up high in the bleachers, so as not to disturb the competition. This was fine, as I got to visit with the other parents.

Well, I did for a little while. But pretty soon, I turned to the mom next to me and observed this:

woman on cell phone

That’s okay, I turned to another mom buddy.

woman on cell phone

Oh. This one was on her phone, too.

I confess that for the past few months, I’ve had some incarnation of a “smart phone,” but not having a lot of experience with it, I still have not crossed over to the land of constant cell phone use that seems to be the norm these days. I kind of like this, as it makes me like a fly on the wall in a world where everyone is attached to his/her cell phone as if it’s another limb.

It just amazes me the way you can look out at any public event, and see a large percentage of the people staring at their phones. One thing that fascinates me: these people often seem to be texting or reading texts. I wonder, when they are with the people they’re now texting, do they talk with them? Or do they text OTHER people then? In other words, do they prefer communicating via text to communicating by talking? Cell phones are changing the way we interact as humans, and I’ll be real interested to see the ways this changes society over the next few decades.

Sometimes, I’ll look around for someone to talk to, and not finding anyone unoccupied with a phone, I’ll sigh and pull out mine as well. If you can’t beat ’em …


*Because I know you were curious: “in number theory, an abundant number (or excessive number) is a number for which the sum of its proper divisors is greater than the number itself.” Clears things right up, doesn’t it?

4 thoughts on “How Cell Phones Have Changed Us

  1. If you look around in church, you’ll see the same thing.

  2. The cell phone has a huge part in most of our lives (not mine) Take the airport, standing in ANY line, walking on the streets, driving in cars…you name it…and it’s not limited to any one generation,,,,the very young own them (ask any teacher) and the senior citizens seem to love them as well….I, too, wonder if communication in person is lost in our society…My husband will call me after a meeting & want to share about it & I always say
    “tell me when you get home” so we can enjoy some conversation before the t.v. goes on.

  3. I find the use of cell phones to be very irritating. I work with a woman who claims she grew up in a tar-paper shack, which I assume means they had no phone. Now, she can’t walk down the hallway at work without her cell phone. This woman is approaching 80, but that phone has to go with her wherever she goes. In the meetings we have each morning at work, cell phones are dinging when messages come in, or ringing because a call has come in. Why can’t they turn the blooming things off for a meeting? I was in a church service a few years ago where a man actually answered the phone, talking on it during the service. That just about put me over the top! The use of cell phones has only added to the rudeness our society is experiencing today. I don’t have a smart phone, but if I did, I trust I’d never become as attached to it as some of my friends are.

  4. Smart phones are a good test of self-control. Sometimes I pass, and other times I fail.

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