If I could, I would just throw away the dratted cell phone. What purpose does it serve, anyway? What is this need for it? If I am in trouble, I could call for help, but otherwise? I have come to intensely dislike this chain that binds me to do other’s will, the line that allows others to break into my privacy. Is there a time that I am not carrying around this little menace and not being told that…”my dear, you really should reply more often?” in honeyed tones of poison? Gag me.
So many misunderstandings because there was no tone of voice to accompany the words. No face expression to lend a cue. First Man invents this elaborate system when one speaks what one does not mean, when precise meanings are dropped to make room for more a language that leaves room for me to say ‘that is not what I meant. I know that taken literally…’ blah blah blah.
Then he took away one of the crucial elements for interpretation needed – presence. With letters and phones, out of the window went the body language cues. Do not misunderstand me, I think the phone – within limits is one of the best things that ever happened- long distance communication made possible. When that is used to talk to your neighbour, however … I begin to have second thoughts.
Then came the cell phone. Logical extension, this mobile phone. But sms? It is evil. Yes, it saves time, and money, but if you have ever had those long conversations where when you finally meet the person you had the conversation with, you realise that both of you had taken the words to mean something else entirely… you’ll know what I mean. Or when something you say is taken to mean something else.
Don’t get me wrong. I do not hate technology or its’ products. I’m not even techno-phobic. It’s just that letting anything take over such control over your life is foolish. If it were not for the cell phone, planning of events would not be left to the middle of nights and the morning of D-day, confident that the messages that need to get through would do so… How often do people plan in factors like cell phones not working, power lines being cut? Why are these things taken for granted, and their absence taken as an act of Nature, like a cyclone would be?
What of computers then? Talking to strangers? I don’t mind. The picture of me that you have across this screen is consistent; it will probably never meld or attempt to meld with the ‘me’ that people who see me typing this see. You will probably never have to reconcile what you think the ‘real me’ with whatever latest stunt I have pulled.
But when you mix the two? You’d probably think I’m some sort of hypocrite. Because you’d see different sides of me, and you’d probably not be able to accept that this person and that are the same. I can think of other people whom I know who seem exactly the same when I meet them online, but if I had not know that X whom I am speaking to now I also know as Y, I’d probably never spot the similarity.
Nobody can ever know another person. There is too much to know, and people change too fast. Problems arise when you think X is something, and by the time you look again, and act on the knowledge that X will react in such-and-such a way, X would have changed. At least across the screen, one finds it easier to accept that there are huge sections that one does not know or understand.
It is a strange morality, and one that… would not make sense to many, but it is crystal clear to me. And I’d still like to throw away that cell phone.