Have you ever had a tree magically appear in the middle of your walking path? Bump into a mailbox that had the audacity to stick out just a little too far from its post? Fall victim to a dip in the sidewalk that DEFINITELY wasn’t there yesterday?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may not know it, but your cell phone is turning you into a jackass.
A lot of people in today’s society would rather lose both arms and trade their first born instead of going a day without their cell phone. We have this need to be connected at all times of the day; to know what is going on every minute of every hour. Without our phones, we might miss what Angelina Jolie wore to the grocery store at 8:36am on a Tuesday.
But I’m not here to point fingers. I have, at one or many points, answered yes to all three of the questions I posed above. Which is why I have recognized and admitted that my cellphone has in fact, turned me into an asshole.
If you live in a city, or anywhere that generates substantial foot traffic, you recognize that something as simple as walking in a straight line may seem like a Herculean task for some people. There are those people who take up the entire sidewalk, or those who think that suddenly stopping will somehow make the laws of inertia follow suit, preventing everyone who is following from a body to body collision.
If you put a cell phone in the hands of any and/or all of those people, the world might just self destruct.
When you have your cell phone in your hand, everyone around you becomes irrelevant. It’s almost as if it emits a force field that envelops your entire body, blocking out all sound, sight, and common sense. So naturally, that oak tree sprouted overnight, that mailbox is absolutely sticking out too far, and that dip in the sidewalk was definitely not there the day before.
On the off chance that you happen to be a human being who doesn’t use their phone for an application telling you how to put one foot in front of the other, yet you still can’t put it down for your ten minute walk to wherever it is you’re going, we would all like you to know that we understand how important your life is, and we will start making adjustments to our schedules to stay out of your way.
Your cellphone cloud of ignorance does not dissipate when you leave the sidewalk, it follows you into your home, your work, and your social life.
When you are out with friends and simple conversation isn’t enough to stimulate your brain, your cell phone might be turning you into a jackass. Refusing to acknowledge anyone else’s conversational needs before your own is a tell tale sign of not giving a fuck about anyone but yourself.
I’m sure the person or people you are out with loves staring at your forehead while you answer text messages from friends who are not currently present. Seeing you take a phone call at dinner and then listening in on half of your conversation with your cousin, John, may or may not be the highlight of their day.
There are several remedies that can help reverse being a jackass when it comes to using your phone. All you need to do is simply take your cellphone, place it in your pocket, and go wherever you need to go. I promise no one will think you have no friends if you are walking around completely aware of your surroundings.
You can also take a more extreme approach, and when out with friends, put your phone on vibrate, silent, or in some cases, even powered off. This will ensure that you will have face-to-face, uninterrupted conversations with whomever you’re out. Should the occasion arise where one or more parties need to use the restroom, feel free to take out your phone to check to see if anyone thinks you’ve skipped town.
But, maybe you could use the brief moment of solitude to reflect on your newfound freedom, know that you’re with a person or group of people who have chosen to hang out with you, and revel in the fact that you do indeed have friends even though you are not currently on your phone talking to someone.
Or you can always just be a jackass.