Life Lesson #1: The Problem With Cell Phones

Life Lesson #1: The Problem With Cell Phones

What happened to phone calls and writing letters?
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“Put that thing away before I throw it in the garbage,” said Choo, motioning toward the cell phone in my hand. I’m sitting with family on the porch and tried to sneak in a quick text but alas, Choo caught me. As a big believer in old-fashioned communication, Choo’s cell phone (an iPhone, nonetheless,) can most likely be found on a random shelf in her closet with 90 unopened texts and 30 voicemails that have yet to be listened to.

Choo always says that millennials lack proper communication skills because they are only familiar with conversing via iMessage. She’s not wrong. Nowadays, you’ll see couples out to dinner with their eyes glued to their phones, failing to communicate with their loved one sitting right in front of them. You’ll see children in the mall, not much older than 7 or 8, with 2 hands on their very own iPhone, slowly lagging behind Mom or Dad so that they can concentrate on the text that they're sending (probably the typical middle school conversation: “Hey, what’s up?” “Nothin’ much, wbu?” “Same.” “Cool.”) You’ll see people of all ages texting at the movie theater during the ENTIRE movie, with their brightness turned all the way up, most likely bothering every single person in the rows behind them.

These three scenarios may not seem all that strange to us because they have become the norm. You receive a text, you respond to it. What’s the harm in that? Now imagine if you didn’t have a phone. I know, hard to believe, but just imagine it. Let’s take a look at three new scenarios.

Scenario #1: You have dinner plans with your special someone. A romantic dinner at one of the most expensive restaurants in town. You don’t have a phone, but your special someone does. You’re at dinner and you spend maybe 10-15 minutes talking about your rough day at work, how you don’t get along with any of your coworkers, and how much of a mess it is. You’re pretty upset just talking about it. It takes you these 10 or so minutes to realize that, no, your date isn’t looking down at their menu, but checking Instagram or Facebook or texting a friend. Very annoying, right?

OK, scenario #2: You haven't spent time with one of your closest friends in a while, and you agree to go shopping at the mall together and catch up. Again, you don’t have a phone, but your friend does. Because you haven't seen them in a while, you are catching your friend up on what they've missed out on in your life. The subject gets a bit touchy and upsetting, and you look over at your friend only to find that they had been texting the entire time. Well, that’s rude. Maybe you not seeing your friend that often should stay that way. Finally, scenario #3: You go to see a movie with whomever, maybe even by yourself. You are so excited to see this movie and have been counting down the days for it to appear in theaters (Finding Dory…coming out June 17th perhaps?). The previews have come to an end and the movie is about to begin when the person sitting right in front of you reaches for their phone and starts texting. Okay, maybe they wanted to send one last text before the movie started. Wrong. They are texting throughout the entirety of the movie, with their iPhone’s brightness on full-blast.



“One day, those phones will kill you,” Choo often says (which is not totally untrue, a new U.S. study came out with ambiguous results on whether cell phone use might cause cancer). The obsession with cell phones has reached its nadir. What happened to phone calls and writing letters? I’ve started using these 2 traditional forms of correspondence with frequency and have come to better appreciate the meaning of communication. I wouldn't have been able to do so without the threats of cellular evil from my loving grandmother, Choo.

Cover Image Credit: Vator

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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Breaking Bad: The Movie—Netflix’s Best Kept Secret

We're getting a sequel, bitch.

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Breaking Bad, one of the most critically acclaimed series of all time and easily the best television show that I've ever seen is getting a continuation to its story in the form of a film directed by showrunner Vince Gilligan and starring Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman and no one is talking about this.

I don't understand.

True, the show ended in 2013 and the violent fanfare that persisted during its run and for several years after its conclusion has died down somewhat, but the fact that the same talent that made the show so incredible and iconic is returning for a sequel, and one that's been in the works for a while now, is huge news that hardly anyone is talking about.

America, explain. This show broke records and launched careers. This show shattered expectations and created an entirely new standard for television. This show practically initiated and spearheaded the new "golden age" of television, continued by such shows as Big Little Lies, Game of Thrones, and Mr. Robot, wherein big-name talent is taken to the silver screen and high-quality, highly cinematic serialized narratives are delivered to viewers who have been served up crap TV procedural dramas for years. It's difficult to describe how immense the relief was when this show came on air, a series that broke through the monotony of daytime television and gave us a fresh story and a new manner of storytelling that wasn't utterly contrived, that wasn't mind-numbing or, at best, formulaic. This show changed the game and stunned everyone. And unlike Game of Thrones, it actually stuck the landing, widely known as one of the few truly great television shows that remained spectacular to the very end.

Have I proven my love for this series yet? Great. Hopefully, I've convinced you to give this amazing show a chance in your post-GoT depression because, while with the late fantasy series the best we have to look forward to are a series of spin-offs and prequels that are already getting a bit of a nervous eyebrow raise from fans, Breaking Bad is getting a film continuation created by the very same people who made it so glorious in the first place and who genuinely care for and love their fans.

Another thing: while very little is known about the project, Gilligan protecting the precious secrets of the film like the precious gold that it is, we do know that Netflix will get first streaming rights to the movie when it is released before it trickles down to be aired on cable television networks. Do you hear that? You don't have to scour for this film on a shady pirated film website and watch the low-grade quality torrent while pop-up viruses keep blocking the screen. No, no, Vince Gilligan is a man of grace and generosity, and the distribution plan for this film will allow it to travel the channels of one of the most popular and accessible streaming platforms in the world before landing in the laps of the only people who don't have Netflix: people who watch cable TV.

What a saint. God bless you, Vince.

Now, in terms of the plot itself, which I'm sure is one of the only reasons you clicked on this article in the first place, this is, unfortunately, all I've got for you: the film will follow up on the wacky (mis)adventures of Jesse Pinkman directly after his narrative ended in the series. If you haven't seen the show, you might be a little confused at what that means. If you have seen the show, you will definitely be confused. After everything that happened leading up to that grand finale, what more could be coming after poor Jesse Pinkman? What else can the writers room of Breaking Bad throw at this character? Like I said, unfortunately for you, that's all I've got. There's absolutely no information on who else is even going to be cast in the show. Nothing. Zip. Nada. This is all we've got: Aaron Paul, Vince Gilligan, Netflix, and some new horror chasing after Jesse Pinkman.

I'll try and update everyone with new information as I receive it, but, knowing the incredible and dedicated team behind this project, the secrets behind this project will likely remain locked up tight until the film's release.

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