Life Lesson #1: The Problem With Cell Phones

Life Lesson #1: The Problem With Cell Phones

What happened to phone calls and writing letters?

“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

Popular Right Now

​An Open Letter To The People Who Don’t Tip Their Servers

This one's for you.

Dear Person Who Has No Idea How Much The 0 In The “Tip:" Line Matters,

I want to by asking you a simple question: Why?

Is it because you can't afford it? Is it because you are blind to the fact that the tip you leave is how the waiter/waitress serving you is making their living? Is it because you're just lazy and you “don't feel like it"?

Is it because you think that, while taking care of not only your table but at least three to five others, they took too long bringing you that side of ranch dressing? Or is it just because you're unaware that as a server these people make $2.85 an hour plus TIPS?

The average waiter/waitress is only supposed to be paid $2.13 an hour plus tips according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

That then leaves the waiter/waitress with a paycheck with the numbers **$0.00** and the words “Not a real paycheck." stamped on it. Therefore these men and women completely rely on the tips they make during the week to pay their bills.

So, with that being said, I have a few words for those of you who are ignorant enough to leave without leaving a few dollars in the “tip:" line.

Imagine if you go to work, the night starts off slow, then almost like a bomb went off the entire workplace is chaotic and you can't seem to find a minute to stop and breathe, let alone think about what to do next.

Imagine that you are helping a total of six different groups of people at one time, with each group containing two to 10 people.

Imagine that you are working your ass off to make sure that these customers have the best experience possible. Then you cash them out, you hand them a pen and a receipt, say “Thank you so much! It was a pleasure serving you, have a great day!"

Imagine you walk away to attempt to start one of the 17 other things you need to complete, watch as the group you just thanked leaves, and maybe even wave goodbye.

Imagine you are cleaning up the mess that they have so kindly left behind, you look down at the receipt and realize there's a sad face on the tip line of a $24.83 bill.

Imagine how devastated you feel knowing that you helped these people as much as you could just to have them throw water on the fire you need to complete the night.

Now, realize that whenever you decide not to tip your waitress, this is nine out of 10 times what they go through. I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to realize that this is someone's profession — whether they are a college student, a single mother working their second job of the day, a new dad who needs to pay off the loan he needed to take out to get a safer car for his child, your friend, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, you.

If you cannot afford to tip, do not come out to eat. If you cannot afford the three alcoholic drinks you gulped down, plus your food and a tip do not come out to eat.

If you cannot afford the $10 wings that become half-off on Tuesdays plus that water you asked for, do not come out to eat.

If you cannot see that the person in front of you is working their best to accommodate you, while trying to do the same for the other five tables around you, do not come out to eat. If you cannot realize that the man or woman in front of you is a real person, with their own personal lives and problems and that maybe these problems have led them to be the reason they are standing in front of you, then do not come out to eat.

As a server myself, it kills me to see the people around me being deprived of the money that they were supposed to earn. It kills me to see the three dollars you left on a $40 bill. It kills me that you cannot stand to put yourself in our shoes — as if you're better than us. I wonder if you realize that you single-handedly ruined part of our nights.

I wonder if maybe one day you will be in our shoes, and I hope to God no one treats you how you have treated us. But if they do, then maybe you'll realize how we felt when you left no tip after we gave you our time.

Cover Image Credit: Hailea Shallock

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

10 TV Shows You Need To Watch On Hulu

Hulu is slept on


I have recently moved to watch shows and movies on Hulu and Netflix. Hulu has a lot of great shows and movies to offer that aren't on Netflix. While Netflix is still great, Hulu is definitely starting to grow on me. Here are some shows that I have watched or have started watching on Hulu that I think are pretty great!

1. 11.22.63

If you love James Franco and Stephen King, you'll love this show. The first episode is a bit long, but all the other episodes are only 45 minutes. The plot line is pretty interesting. I also like that it doesn't tell you everything, it shows it to you and you piece things together.

2. The Act

The fact that this show is based on a true story is just insane. The acting is really great, especially if you watch actual videos of Gypsy, Joey King does a great job.

3. Castle Rock

Another Stephen King masterpiece. This show is riveting and really makes you think about what the truth is in the context of the story, and brings in some ethical questions.

4. Future Man

I've only recently started this but it's pretty interesting and funny.

5. The O.C.

The O.C. (TV Series 2003–2007) - IMDb

This show was great. Sometimes it was a bit annoying, but it is a classic show from the early 2000s. You really become invested in all the characters and your opinion may change on some characters because they grow and develop throughout the show.

6. The Handmaid's Tale

If you've read the book, you should definitely watch the show.

7. Obsession: Dark Desires

I just love true crime stories and this really dives deep into crime stories and the darkest parts of humanity.

8. Intervention

This show can be really sad or frustrating, but I think it's good for people to see the reality of addiction.

9. Smallville

Smallville (2001-2011)

I also started this one very recently and I've always wanted to watch it. It can be cheesy but it's pretty entertaining.

10. Brooklyn Nine-Nine

This is a great show if you want to laugh. I love all of the characters and everything they bring to the table.

Related Content

Facebook Comments