We saw “Cell” recently – a scary and grim movie written by Stephen King. The protagonist was making his way through a Logan Airport terminal. Everyone was on their cell phones, which is normal these days. Suddenly everyone who had a cell phone up to their ear started foaming at the mouth, banging their heads against the wall, and attacking with murderous intent anyone within reach. After observing this connection, our protagonist thought twice about calling his ex-wife to arrange visitation with his son. He and the few survivors who weren’t rabid decided not to use their cell phones for anything.
This movie got me to wondering. How would younger generations fare without a cell phone attached to their heads?
We baby boomers often grew up with just one phone in the house. Ours was a rotary wall phone with a long cord, so one could walk away and have a private conversation. I know, a private conversation. How quaint.
I love my phone and the things it can do, but cells have changed our behavior in many ways, sometimes enslaving us.
- Shoppers in grocery stores cannot make up their minds which cereal to buy. Calls must be made to discuss the many options.
- Dates and get-togethers with friends cannot be endured without either a phone call or attempts to look at tiny pictures on a phone.
- Family meals, a thing of the past, do not include conversation, or lessons for children. Instead, everyone’s head is down, looking at their individual phones.
- Cell phone conversationalists walking down the street take no notice of traffic, a nice day, the scenery, or other walkers.
- Paying attention to the road while driving is, apparently, optional these days. Stupid phone calls questioning the driver as to what cereal to buy and other mundane ruminations must be answered at great peril to other drivers.
- Workers no longer fear the boss, but spend an inordinate amount of time texting, calling, and answering instead of working.
- Ex-spouses no longer stay in the shadows but call repeatedly and must be answered immediately so that the drama can be played out for everyone’s entertainment.
- Lunch dates and other arrangements are always flexible because the cell phone addicts can always call with a BS story about why they are late.
Is Stephen King saying we’re turning into monsters?
Lavinia M. Hughes lives in East Falmouth, MA and is keeping a close watch on her cell phone.