Saturday, November 14, 2009

Crackberries & Other Distractions


I don't know about you, but I have enormous difficulties with people not being in the "Now". As in when I'm with them, they're constantly texting or on their Blackberries or checking the time or staring lasciviously at the server in a restaurant or drumming their fingers on the table or jangling their keys or taking non-stop pictures or movies.

I don't understand it. Why are they filling in time with an activity when they'd rather be somewhere else or doing something different?

Like the other night I was at a dinner party and this friend was there and her device (leash) was tinkling constantly and she'd sheepishly say:

"Just another couple and I'll turn it off" but she never did and even at the dinner table she had it on her lap and was texting away. We're not talking a teenager here. We're talking a woman of 67 years old. She wasn't present at all. Plus she's stealing time from the friends who've turned off their devices to be in the moment with dear friends with the sound of her device constantly blasting and breaking the moments.

Or call waiting? Drives me mad. I never use it but my friends do even though they know how I feel about it. Like I'm going to take another call that's more important than yours while you're on the line with me?

Maybe I'm coming across all self righteous and geezerish about this stuff, but my life is just as busy or even more so than yours but when I'm with you, I'm really, really with you. Is it too much to ask that you're really with me?

24 comments:

  1. Oh you've hit on one that bugs me as well. I've almost got the grandkids & DIL trained to not text around me. It just seems awfully rude.
    My methodology has been to get up and walk away, or just walk away. When they hunt me up to ask if there is something wrong, I just pleasantly say "Oh No, I just wanted to give you some privacy to text in."

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  2. i'm with you, righteous geezer!

    i don't have a crackberry, or a cell phone. and i do get annoyed with those who are leashed to theirs, as you say.

    yesterday i was trying to walk down the street and my way was blocked by an older woman, head bent, studying something. i thought she was toting up the receipt from where she'd just been shopping, but as i finally found my opening and whisked around her, i took a glance and saw that she was walking while texting.

    goofy. you do wonder if she'd be so compelled to communicate with the person if they were right there at her side.

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  3. I agree, WWW. It's the height of bad manners, and about time some book of etiquette was updated and distributed along with the latest models of those berry thingies, outlining what is good, courteous behaviour, technology-wise.

    Himself and I are the ultimate geezers. We have one Tracfone between us, for emergencies; in 4 years it has been used less than 20 times, I guess. Even our landline is seldom used. Our computers are our only cyber-vice. ;-)

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  4. Brighid:
    Yes, walking away is a good technique but when with others who are equally suffering from the rudeness of one, very difficult.
    XO
    WWW

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  5. OMG Laurie!
    Coming back from the theatre last night with my daughter (driving) we just about hit a young woman crossing the street on a red light, obliviously texting.
    It was very scary, and guess what, she never even looked at us, breaking an inch from her hip!
    XO
    WWW

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  6. T:
    It is a form of ADD I believe. Part of the sound byte era, minds only tolerating tiny bits of reality thrust into them from time to time...
    XO
    WWW

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  7. There is time for everything.... there is also an unspoken rule of "what is doable"...

    I have an I-phone but I know when to use it and how much, where and when....

    technological devises have rules, just like spitting on the floor or eating with your mouth open....

    It sounds to me as if your friend at the dinner table disrespected the unspoken "cell phone rule"... :)

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  8. I agree, it's just rude and self-centred to be doing something totally different and not paying attention to the people you're with.

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  9. I refuse to have call waiting on my telephone. I think it is awfully ride and I think the other person can call back when they hear a busy signal.

    I don't even know how to text on my mobile phone and I'm not going to find out for now. It's not important. I rarely get called on it. I'm really not that much of an important person that I need to be in touch with other people non stop.

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  10. Oh! Texting and crossing busy street after dark simultaneously! Look at me, I'm Superwoman! I can do it all! Splat...

    Sorry, WWW, couldn't resist ;-)

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  11. Nevin:
    Yes it is the common courtesies and politeness that are being abandoned here.
    XO
    WWW

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  12. Nick:
    And I think a lot of this rude exhibition must be from the insecure who want to impress others?
    XO
    WWW

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  13. GSW:
    I've often just hung up when people at the other end of the line take a call. I mean what would happen if both parties kept taking other calls? LOL!
    XO
    WWW

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  14. Annie:
    It very nearly happened too. Not to mention the other distractions of giant screens (e.g. Dundas Square) vying for attention along with the crackberry and the cell phone and driving the car. We need device free zones.
    XO
    WWW

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  15. It is annoying and I think the only time that they should be used in public is for dire emergencies!

    Many thanks for your kind words over at mine!

    Nuts in May

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  16. I have asked for my coat on one occasion when a mobile phone was used three times. I was there by invitation, and the TV was left on with the sound quite high. I have been invited back, but somehow I am always busy! ;)

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  17. Maggie:
    Yes, I call for a complete ban on casual use in company!
    XO
    WWW

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  18. GM:
    People just don't get it, do they? good for you, I will follow suit next time!!
    XO
    WWW

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  19. . you do wonder if she'd be so compelled to communicate with the person if they were right there at her side. Work from home India

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  20. I'd love to reply to this, but an urgent text has just come in.

    Do excuse me.

    ;-)

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  21. I have an iPhone, so I can do all that stuff - text, talk, check the weather, make someone wait when I answer call waiting - and I don't text except to grandkids every now and then; I don't talk on the cell when I'm driving; and I never pick up call waiting. AND when I'm with someone, I turn it off. The device itself is not demonic, of course, but people who use them to the exclusion of present company and personal safety are suffering an addiction. Similar to TV: get what you want from it and then turn it off.

    I think the electronic age has brought us some miraculous ways of communicating, and taken to the extreme, the electronic age has redefined communication to mean it's exact opposite. I wonder what Wordsworth would have thought:

    "The world is too much with us; late and soon
    Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers"

    "lay waster our powers" indeed!

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  22. Nishant:
    But that's it, isn't it. They are never present at reality. Only virtual presence drives their cranks!
    XO
    WWW

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  23. Verna:
    Wonderful prescient quote. It should be hung outside every mall....
    XO
    WWW

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