Cell Phone’s Cause Communication Woes


We all have the experience like the guy in the commercial saying something important and the phone is silent in response because it has gone to cell phone heaven or hell.                                                          

However, I thought of our phones in another way after reading an article by Michael Smerconish of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

 “Technology is killing our means of Communication.”

How interesting, I thought my mobile kept me up to the minute connected to family, friends and work. As I pondered on this, I realized that he has a very valid point. “The stuff that is supposed to be keeping us in touch is making us more distant.”

Most of this is summarized or directly from his article,

 “It used to be when the only phone ringing was a house phone, usually in the kitchen and whoever picked it up would exchange a few words then  a big holler to the intended recipient and hand it over.”


“When the phone rings today, it’s a BlackBerry or cell phone, and the only person who answers is the intended recipient. There is no secondary circle of communication. Gone is the communication with the person who is a relative on your spouse’s side of the family.”

 You are out of the loop!

Yes, as he points out, this can sometimes be a plus, spare ‘stupid talk’ or annoying people.

How many of us when asked for our number these days, give out the landline number  if you still have a landline?

This is what intrigued me. Mr Smerconish goes on to talk about the drawbacks this can involve, such as your daughter’s boyfriend or your son’s girlfriend.

“Remember how you used to get your first impression of him or her? Their phone manner? “Hello Mr. Smir-no-coff?” You knew if he was courteous. “May I speak with_?You knew if he had personality. “Did you hear the one about._? You got a hunch about whether he was appropriate. “Oh no sir, I would never dream of …” and whether he was smart. “I loved your column on….”

“Now you have never heard of him until he shows up at your door. It’s the same with your kids entire social circle. And your husband’s boss. And your wife’s book club. The only person who gets to know these people is the one who deals directly with them. The family telephone used to be the axle through which all the spokes in the family and social network were connected. No more.”

Mr Smerconish ends this article with how “we are forgetting how to make small polite small talk. It’s a lost art. One on one used to be a form of basketball defense. Now it’s the way we live our lives.”

As I pondered on this, I realized that yes, we are connected and yet disconnected at the same time. The same thing applies to our ‘Time saving devices’. We got a lot of time savers and little time to use all of them. Personally, I think it’s all those darn instructions, will somebody please just show me how to use it?



  1. I agree. I hate cell phones. I feel that they have done nothing but destroy real communication and create a society where people feel that everybody should be available at any time. nothing distresses me more than people who compulsively answer their cell phones at completely inappropriate times because they are concerned that if they don’t the person calling will think they are being ignored or because they are afraid that they will miss out on some important bit of information.

    personally I only answer my phone if I feel compelled to talk to somebody or if I am expecting a call. I refuse to fall into the trap of being available to anybody at any time. What ever happened to the idea of somebody having a life of their own? It’s like cell phones have become something of a digital leash.

    I don’t answer mine either on beck and call. I do like to know who has called to return it at an appropriate time.
    I know people ‘God Love em’ that are on them constantly, to me, it very rude in public unless you are expecting a very important call or a possible emergency! We have to be careful not to be a ‘slave’ to technology. Always love your views.

  2. Interesting and on topic for today’s world. I’ve gotten so I never use my cell phone anymore. It’s kind of a waste of $$ but I’m an “add on pal” to my husband’s plan and I hate to be completely without one when I leave the house (WHY I have no idea I did it for YEARS! Habit I guess or false sense of security).

    I hear you. Gotta have em. gosh darn it! I feel that we need them too for safety, flat tire, etc: lol!

  3. I don’t ever answer the phone if it’s a number I don’t recognize or if I’m eating dinner. If I don’t feel like talking, I won’t answer.

    My husband, OTOH, has answered my phone and then given it tome while I was nursing baby girl for nap/bed time. Aargh… If it’s important, they will leave a message.

    I am totallly with you on this one, Mercy please, sometimes you gotta go to the loo! (love that word for well, you know) Just cannot be on beck and call. So sorry…..This is a recording….Have a great day!:)

  4. It’s true, if you think about it, the more mediums we have to communicate, the less we actually communicate. If you look at city life these days, it’s all people living together, yet we don’t know each other’s names. Yet out there in the country, people don’t see each other but they know who’s living in the area.

    I hate cell phones, in fact i don’t like phones much, most of the time people call when you’re not in the mood to talk or you’re busy with something.

    It is a shame to not know those close to us or even next door. I am with you on the phones, a necessary evil. 🙂

  5. I like having a cell phone. I don’t have a landline. It’s more affordable to have the cell phone. I do think the phone is an interruption. If I’m doing something that requires my full attention, I don’t answer the phone. Actually, I will set it on vibrate or silent so I don’t have to hear it ring if I don’t want to. I also don’t answer if I don’t know the number. My husband, on the other hand, will always answer and then get annoyed if he doesn’t know the person or whatever. I tell him just don’t answer it. If it’s important, they’ll leave a message or call back. He seems unable to not answer it. When my phone rings, he’ll holler to me from another room that my phone’s ringing. My response is so what? They can leave a message and if I see it’s someone I need to talk to, I’ll call them right back.

    I don’t hate cell phones and I think the people who answer them inappropriately would also answer the landline inappropriately (like when company is visiting). Just my personal observation. I don’t use the phone much at home because I’m on the phone all day at work.

    I always put mine on vibrate or silent unless I’m expecting a call. I do believe that if the message is important, they will leave a message.

    When you have to use the phone very much as we do, you can easily get to the place where you just don’t want to talk anymore… LOL!

  6. Shades: We have the same view about the phones!! We don’t have a land-line either. We need to take their phones away from them!

    You always bring a smile to my face..so glad I met you guys! or gals!:)

  7. What is it with men and their need to ANSWER a RINGING phone? Let the answering machine get it – that’s what we PAID for. LOL

    Oh Accountable, I can so relate to the hubby answering phone at inopportune times and handing it to me. Oyyyy

    Me too and I don’t much like it…could we maybe superglue it?

  8. Oh and, if I may invade on Accountable’s comment that you made, LOTS of “US” have commented on HOW THRILLED WE ARE WE “MET” you! You are a gem.

  9. Of course it’s been a pleasure meeting you on the web, too, Angie–and the rest of you, too! :mrgreen:

    freefrompt: you couldn’t be more right! My husband acts shocked that someone he doesn’t know called or if they don’t leave a message and he doesn’t know the number. I tell him, it was probably a wrong number. If not, they’ll call back. Chill! 🙄

    Accountable: I would love to take my hubby’s phone from him sometimes. He talks SO LOUD! LOL I think he feels that no one on the other end can hear him. He and I took a trip one year to TN and when we got to our destination, I called my mom to let her know. Hubby was also on the phone and my mom asked, “Who’s that hollerin’?” 😆

    They are just too funny! love that last part..Who’s that hollerin’?” 🙂

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