Sunday, July 23, 2006

In the Wake of Massive Global Communication: Our Digital Handicap


The above picture is so cool. If I had this phone I'd constantly be talking outloud to my wrist, "Calling Dick Tracey! Calling Dick Tracey!" But that's just me.

I've written cell phone rants before. I do happen to own a cell phone, and I find it a convenient tool, but unlike so many people I use it by necessity, not as a frill. I think so many people have taken their cell phones to mean the ultimate freedom in staying connected to everyone they've ever met 24/7. What does this do to the human brain I wonder? Does it turn it to mush? In twenty years from now will I develop an accute case of fatal brain lobe cancer due to my over saturate cell radiation and my brain will melt and just ooze out my ears? What's more of a concern is with all the activity floating across the wire is their anything more than just static getting across? Without a cell phone securly in one hand, am I even getting through to you? What about the rest of the human race?

Well, I think we've all been guilty abusers at one time or another, but there definately is a concern for worry. Let me explain further.

Just because we can speak out mind, doesn't always necessarily mean we should speak. One thing I've learned is that in social grace, tact is the most important means of communication. Saying the 'right' thing at the 'right' time is more important than just getting one's point across.

Also, the same would be true for reversing it and instead, keeping the right to remain silent, which more people should do. Not saying anything at the 'right' time and 'right' place can save you lots of social stress later on, and actually, people will think higher of you for exercising 'restraint' and 'good judgment' in the face of adversity. This shows a higher caliber of character, I think, than somebody who just wants to be right.

As far as truly communicating... everyone has different levels of skill. You can actually improve this skill, I know, otherwise they wouldn't give 'communication and speech' classes for college students and people who need a quick night course in how to join the human race.

You're probably wondering what this has to do with cell phones and the digital world of communication? Well, let me put it like this... with all this 'mobile cell phone' use... I think we're all in danger of losing our 'communication' skills. Or rather, we've developed a large "digital handicap" when it comes to our people skills. With the Internet and Cellular techs... we can connect to an infinite amount of faceless others, only to hide ourselves behind the veil of the digital curtain, and there is no real 'skill' in communicating this way. I type buttons, people respond. We're acting more like computers than human beings.

It's nice to connect, don't get me wrong, but sometimes I think, at what cost? Have we lost our 'people' skills in the wake of mass communication? I think to a degree, yes. Just walk around in an airport or a local mall, and more people are on their phones talking to all these faceless 'nobodies' while they totally shrug you off and ignore you. Back in the time before global mass communication, people would actually look you in the face and smile to greet you. Not so any more, unless of course, they're not using their cell phone.

Also, there is the never ending cell phone abuse. People who incessantly talk over everyone else because they won't get an ear piece, or because they haven't found their volume control. Then you have the ear piece people who look at you and speak, as if they were commenting on you personally, and when you ask them, "Pardon?" They ignore you by rudely turning around to reveal that they have an ear mic which they are using to talk to some ghost of a soul on some distant shore. It would be nice, just in the act of social etiquette, to apologize and point to the ear piece.

Next you have people who bring their cell phones into movie theaters to play video games on their phone while the movie is playing! What's that about?

And what about the endless multitude of beeps, rings, tones, and chimes? Now they can play real music too! The cell phone has conquered ever entertainment realm. Television, cameras, movies, Internet, and now MP3s. They are amazing devices, but there's one thing I'm certain of is that a few year back the world was a much quieter place.

Speaking of which, with all this added noise pollution, I'm still surprised at how many people blatantly neglect to put on their 'manner mode' and mute their phones unnerving digital cries in public places. You think the first courtesy would be muting the incessant noise of these devices to save on social anxiety, but rarely (rarely!) does anybody seem to care.

However, the worst of the new social handicap is this. How often have we all experienced talking to a friend face to face, when all of a sudden their cell rings, and do our annoyance, they hold up their finger to stop you mid-sentence as they inform, "I have to take this."

Unless your mother is dying, or your kids have accidentally started the house and themselves on fire, I don't care to hear it. If it's not an emergency, it's not worth being rude by neglecting me, the person you're talking to.

For all these types of people, who can't seem to put down their damn phones, well, they should be the ones sent off to 'communication' school, because they are the ones lacking in their ability to communicate with social grace and tact, and they need to join human race. As for the Internet, its one step better, if not only for the fact that it keeps most people securely locked inside their homes or coffee shops, which is refreshing. At least this way they can't interfere with you directly, and there's not real way to be put off by them, the only real worry is an ever growing threat of pedophiles and perverst. Yet if they took away all the pornogrpahy on the Internet today, there'd be just one website left and it would be entitled, "Bring back the porn." Yet at what cost to ourselves are we living these 'digital fantasies' instead of trying to meet real in the flesh people?

The mobile nature of cell phones is a real detriment to our society's capability of functioning smoothly and most definitely we are now in the predicament of being the rudest and loudest 'communicators' on the planet Earth.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Sugar Buns are Yummy!

Swirly Muffins! These cinnamon buns look delicious. Yummy.

Whoah! Check out these buns! These are German made buns. Hahaha. They also look delicious. Um...okay, so that was a stupid joke. Never mind.

Anyway, forget the pun, there's only one thing cooler than Germany's 'Love Parade' and that's this next doozy!

We've got a Spacestation! How freakin' cool is that? It's like we've boldy gone where no man has gone beofe! Or more accurately, we've gone up. Just slightly above the stratosphere, in geosynchronous orbit.