Monday, July 16, 2007

No one talks about this cellphone danger

UPDATE 7/16/07 (see bottom paragraph)

Everyone has a cellphone, right? Ten years ago, when I got my first cell phone, it was considered a luxury. People would wonder why your purse was ringing. When they would realize it was a cellphone, they would get curious or surprised or impressed. And I very rarely used it. I am not even sure why I had it, except that my kids were little and I was paranoid every time I left them. I wanted to be 'reachable' in case of any emergency. I didn't use it much because it was much more expensive than 'land lines'.

I'm not sure how or when the revolution happened. I just know that everybody has a cellphone today, and some people don't even have land lines in their homes anymore! But there is a hidden danger that no one talks about. I call it "Auto-Dial Brain Atrophy" (ADBA).

We have become so dependent on these little gadgets. We no longer have to memorize phone numbers because this little computer in our pocket does that for us. A phone book and speed dial have rendered us unable to remember seven-digit sequence of numbers. When I was a teenager, I probably had committed 20 or 30 of those numbers to memory. Of course, sometimes I would dial Betty's number when I meant to call Nancy. That would be funny, but then we'd end up laughing and talking for an hour until I realized that I still hadn't called Nancy! Good times. And when you called someone, you had to actually dial seven digits every single time (sometimes nine if they were in a different area code). The constant repetition of dialing that sequence of numbers helped implant it in your memory cells.

Now, we have a choice, we can assign those we call most frequently a 'speed dial' code, which is one or two digits (which have nothing to do with their actual phone number), or we can scroll through our phone book, find their name, and hit "Talk". It could not be easier, right?

Well, that is until you lose your phone, or you find yourself out somewhere with a dead battery and no way to retrieve that phone number when you need it.

This has happened to me. I was out, and I had to call my husband because I was going to be late. The battery on my phone was dead. Of course, one of my friends offered me the use of her phone. Except for one fucking problem - she did not have my husband's office number in her phone book! Okay, I was screwed. (Although in retrospect, it would have been worse if she had his number....)

The other day, my 18-year old son came home and couldn't find his phone. "Don't worry, Mom. It's probably in Brad's truck." "Okay, so call Brad and ask him to verify that he has your phone because if it's not there, you need to go find it."

One big problem - he didn't know Brad's phone number. So I suggested that he call his own phone because Brad would hear it. No, he wouldn't, because when they were at the movies, he had turned his phone to silent.

Ahhh..... no problem. He'll just go online and see if anyone is on AIM that has Brad's phone number. After about 15 minutes, he found someone who looked up the phone number on THEIR cellphone. And, yes, the phone was in Brad's truck.

When I was 18, I had my best friends' phone numbers stored in a hard drive that didn't require a battery - MY BRAIN. And the funny thing is, no matter what the circumstances, those numbers were always retrievable. Strange how that works, isn't it?

And over the years, land lines have contributed to the spread of ADBA because they have evolved into data centers. I replaced my land lines a couple of months ago, and now I have a phone book with an LED screen at home! Yay! I don't even have to remember the auto-dial codes anymore because my land line has a scrollable phone book!
I just wanted to update this post (originally posted a year ago, 6/30/06).......... with this link from Reuters, Remember your phone number?


Saturday, July 14, 2007

Take a break......

and watch this adorable video!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Spring Cleaning

Well, I've cleaned out all the cobwebs in here. I can't believe it's been months since I took out the trash! I'm amazed the place is still standing... Just dropping off the most viewed YouTube video of all time. Enjoy!

Happy Easter!