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The Rant: A Monday Morning View - Cell Phones

Updated on February 10, 2013
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The cell phone - a perfect topic for this series I call “The Rant: A Monday Morning View”. This was an easy one. No research was required to find a keyword on something I could write about and I didn’t sit staring at a blank screen praying for inspiration. Sometimes life just hands you what you need and sometimes it just smacks you square in the a$$ with it.

This story begins on a beautiful morning when I woke up feeling my oats. My mood was exceptionally good as I drove across town to work. I was loving life, riding along with the windows down and the wind in my hair, I had the stereo cranked and I was gleefully singing along (quite loudly) to the latest Stevie Nicks CD. I didn’t have a care in the world until it hit me. I was sitting perfectly still with my foot on the brake, and there it was, that dreaded sound – bam! My head snapped forward and my Jeep was propelled about 30 feet before the sudden stop.

Now, I’m not easily rattled so for a moment I sit there wondering what mechanical monster had just failed in my Jeep. Was it the transmission? The drive train? I have no clue where “drive train” came from. Do Jeeps have one? The rational me took over. Moving the shifter from “drive” to “reverse” seemed to work ok. And then I glanced in the rear view mirror and there it was. The catalyst for the noise and forward thrust was a tiny little woman in a Honda. Guess what she was doing before she hit me while I was sitting still with my brake lights on? Oh yeah, she was talking on her cell phone instead of watching the morning traffic.

Eureka! I had a new hub topic.

Skid marks left by the tiny woman in the Honda.
Skid marks left by the tiny woman in the Honda. | Source
The Honda
The Honda | Source
The Jeep
The Jeep | Source

The scene

It’s time to create the visual so take a look at the photo. This tunnel was part of my route to work for the past year. I traveled through it every morning and every afternoon. It is narrow and on a busy stretch of road so like every other driver with a brain, I always stop and let oncoming traffic pass through first. Stevie Nicks had not broken my courteous spirit and so there I sat, foot on the brake pedal, just waiting. The Honda should have been waiting too but it never saw me and when it hit me at the speed of 45 mph in a 25 mph speed zone, I was propelled like Evil Knieval through that tunnel – with my foot still on the brake. Needless to say, the Jeep took a lickin’ and kept on tickin’ but the Honda went home on a rollback.

So here’s where I make my pitch against the cell phone. That sweet, tiny little woman in the Honda was talking on her cell phone when she encountered the stationary object (my Jeep) in the roadway. She hit the brakes but not in time to avoid leaving 35 feet of skid marks and tearing the front of her Honda up when it impaled itself on my rear bumper and trailer hitch. Was the conversation worth it? I doubt it. It cost her about $1800 to replace my bumper, trailer hitch, and the custom art on my tire cover. We’re both lucky that we weren’t hurt.

If this were the only incident involving someone talking on a cell phone or texting while driving, I could let it go. But, that’s not the case, is it? Two weeks later I was run off the road by a young girl driving at least 70 mph on our expressway where the speed limit is 55 mph. As she started to pass me, I glanced over and saw her texting away as she swerved all over the road. I started to slow down but she suddenly crossed the center line and pushed me to the edge of the road. Again, we were both very lucky.

Confession, it's good for the soul and hopefully will make you go easy on me.

I confess. I am just as much of a dinosaur as my old flip phone. Yes, I still use an old style flip phone and I don't have a text plan with my service provider. I believe there is a time and a place for everything, even a cell phone. I own one and, I use it, in a very limited capacity.

  • I use my cell phone when the power goes out and my land line doesn’t work.
  • I use my cell phone to report traffic problems – after I pull off the road.
  • I use my cell phone if I need to call home when I am out and – I go to the most isolated corner of a store for privacy.
  • And, I carry my cell phone with me everywhere, in case of an emergency.

That’s it. I don’t need a cell phone for any other reason. I don’t text and if you send me text, I don’t open it because I’m not going to pay text charges because you don’t want to call or email me.

Concern, because I care about people.

I worry about the next generation. I see them walking around with their heads tucked down, staring at that little gadget in their hand as if it was going to speak to them at any minute. What am I missing? Is there something going on in the world that I don’t know about? Is it so important that it won’t wait until I get home and turn on the news?

What about cell phone safety? No, I don’t mean keeping our cell phone safe. I’m talking about our brains. No one really knows yet what effect that little marvel of technology (that emits radiation) has on our brain and I’m not interested in tempting fate. BTW (by the way), FWIW (for what it’s worth), Brain disease of any type is not something you want. Until they can prove to us that the radiation isn’t causing brain illness, maybe we should try emailing more or talking in person.

Communication, what is being lost?

None of these thoughts are new to me. I’ve been thinking about this for a while. I’ve even wondered if my feelings about the cell phone stem from my control issues. I don’t like being controlled by anyone and I surely am not going to let a gadget that spews Google or Facebook messages control me. Maybe it’s my mother’s voice whispering in my ear again that “a lady should keep some mystery about her”. I just don’t believe that even my BFFs (best friends forever) need to know what I’m doing every minute of the day. My family doesn’t either. If they did know, we wouldn’t have anything to talk about around the dinner table or over a cup coffee.

There is one question I have about the cell phone.. Do writers walk and drive and talk on a cell phone all the time too? Since I’ve only recently started considering myself an amateur writer, I don’t know the answer. As a lover of language and the images it can create with voice inflection or the power of words, I don’t want to replace oral communication with texting slang. It scares me. I think we’re headed in a wrong and dangerous direction. What will our future look like?

  • At the rate we’re going, will the next generation lose their voice for lack of use?
  • Who will be the voice of the voiceless if we lose the ability to speak firmly, loudly, and effectively?
  • Will anyone hear us as we stand on the picket line with signs and heads bowed texting our message to the employer who is discriminating against the older worker or the African American woman?
  • Will journalism in print be reduced to text message slang?
  • How will we know if CYA means “see ya” or “cover your a$$”?

TBH (to be honest), I don’t plan to ever give up the gift of verbal communication or writing in complete sentences. I’m long past worrying about what someone else thinks and trying to keep up with the Jones’ or whoever they are. Human beings matter to me and we were born with a voice, not a digital black box and I plan to keep on using mine. If you make a different decision, stay the hell off my side of the road and don’t tailgate me going 20 miles faster than me. Deal?

© 2012 Linda Crist, All rights reserved.

Read more of my hubs here.

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  • rcrumple profile image

    Rich 4 years ago from Kentucky

    Linda - I can't tell you how many times I've come close because of idiots on their cell phones. It's absolutely ridiculous. I dream of having a weapon that will zap each of their phones into oblivion and shock the ___ out of them! It may be mean, but they deserve it. Sad thing is it's not all kids! Middle age and older have taken up the fad. It's enough to drive one crazy! Great Hub!

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Rich, I agree. Cell phone ignorance is not age or gender specific but it is rampant. :-)

  • shiningirisheyes profile image

    Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

    Very important hub as the crisis is at an all time high. I watch countless near misses when driving while also witnessing fatal and critical accidents all a result of inattentive drivers ont heir cell phones. I grew up without this modern technology and my life rolled along just fine.

    Another fine hub my friend

  • Alecia Murphy profile image

    Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

    I so hate when people use their phones and drive. Nothing is that important that you lose focus of the road. Even talking to your passengers sometimes is ill-advised simply because no one is super human. While I appreciate the convenience of cell phones, nothing takes the place of intimate face-to-face contact with other people. Great hub!

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

    Well, I'm certainly happy that you aren't hurt. We have the cell phone law here in Washington, but from what I can see nobody pays any attention to it, and if the police care they sure aren't acting like it. I hate it and I can get a bit nasty when I see someone driving and texting. It is just too dangerous!

    Anyway, glad you are still with us, and I love your ranting.

    hugs,

    bill

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    shining, I could not agree more that this is important. Far too many people die over a phone call that could have waited.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Alecia. It really is frightening. There is so much going on these days on the roadway and distractions are an accident waiting to happen. Thank you for reading and feeling as I do.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Bill, you aren't going to get rid of me that easy. lol I'm fine and thank you for caring. We have cell phone laws here too but as you say, no one cares or gets punished for violating them.

    This was the strangest feeling. I had not had an accident since 1973 so when the impact occurred and I heard the noise, it never occurred to me in those first few seconds that I had been hit. I am so naive sometimes. :-)

    As you said, the important thing is that no person was injured but I sure hope the tiny, little woman learned a lesson.

    Happy Monday pal!

  • mpropp profile image

    Melissa Propp 4 years ago from Minnesota

    Using your cell phone while you are driving, let alone TEXTING, should be illegal--oh wait, it is! Now they just need to enforce it. I see young kids texting away while they drive by and I cringe. Then again, I'm seeing a lot of adults doing it to, so I guess we don't always get wiser when we get older. I agree with your rant 100%. LOL and TTFN!

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    mpropp! Hi! I think it's just the world we are living in. Everyone wants it faster, bigger, and they don't realize what they are missing by not slowing down to enjoy life a little. I get it but this cell phone thing is dangerous. Imagine the revenue law enforcement could collect if they enforced the laws. lol Thanks for the visit. I really appreciate it.

  • marcoujor profile image

    Maria Jordan 4 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

    Dear Linda,

    I am also grateful that you are OK...what a distracting, dangerous and discourteous form of communication...the epitome of muti-tasking in a hectic society that doesn't have to be.

    I think your rant is reasonable and right-on. Voted UP & UAI.

    Hugs, Maria

  • Mhatter99 profile image

    Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

    Feel better? It is no better here. People... Wait a minute the zoo is only 16 blocks away. :))

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Maria, thank you for your concern. I'm fine and grateful too. :-) When I think about how fast the world is spinning and how many people are talking or texting while they are in such a hurry, it's downright scarey. Just think how many idiots we encounter just driving to the grocery store. Yikes! Thanks for the vote up and for thinking my rant is reasonable. I am rarely accused of being reasonable. lol

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    MH, you know I do. I always feel great after a good rant. I'm off to visit you now. :-)

  • Debby Bruck profile image

    Debby Bruck 4 years ago

    Linda - Useful. Awesome. Well written. Most important information. Always a good reminder to hear a true life story. Thank G-d you are safe once again. Too many close calls. Someone above is looking out for all of us, but sometimes . . . Blessings, Debby

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Debby! Thanks for the visit. I agree with you. It's easy to think it's always going to be someone else until you make it personal. I hope this rant makes a difference to someone, even if it's just one.

  • carol7777 profile image

    carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

    Better people start drinking and leave the texting and phoning at home. Just kidding but I know where you are coming from.

  • mary615 profile image

    Mary Hyatt 4 years ago from Florida

    I couldn't agree with you more on this subject!!! Call me old fashioned, but I have a "dumb phone". My kids gave me a smart phone for Christmas. I took it back. I only need a phone for the same reasons as yours. I think humans will revolve with two huge thumbs (all the better to text with).

    These phones are just getting ridiculous. I'm glad you weren't injured in the wreck!

    Voted this UP, etc. and will share.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Carol. You're stil here! I'm glad. Sometimes I think drinking and driving is less of a problem than cell phones too.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Mary. Thank you so much for sharing my feelings on this subject. I don't intend to ever have a phone that is smarter than me. :-) Your comment was very sweet. Thanks for caring.

  • profile image

    lovedoctor926 4 years ago

    You are lucky that you weren't hurt. I know that some states have a law where you can't text or talk on the phone while driving. They should have this law in every state. Texting while driving is such irresponsible behavior and yet I see this happening all the time. Society suffers from cell phone and texting addiction. I mean if you really feel the need to text just stop at a nearby gas station or something. I can't believe that woman who ran you off in the highway was actually on her cell phone texting. I would have dialed 911 immediately. Not only was she driving over the speed limit, but being a menace on the road and endangering other people's lives. thank you for sharing.

  • GusTheRedneck profile image

    Gustave Kilthau 4 years ago from USA

    Howdy Linda (lrc7815) - Why wait until Monday to rant. Everyday practice makes for perfection.

    You might get a laugh out of my own "sell phone" rant. Check it out in the middle of https://hubpages.com/literature/Dumb-Poem-Collecti... .

    Hangin' up on you for now...

    Gus :-)))

  • GusTheRedneck profile image

    Gustave Kilthau 4 years ago from USA

    Howdy Linda - Well now - remembered writing a comment here earlier, but, just like I do many things, I must have forgotten to "send" the thing to you. Here goes once again.

    Cell phones can be helpful if you force the issue upon them. I remember my first one. The thing was so big and heavy that a person could scarcely lift it. It used to tug on my trouser belt mightily, and that was a worrisome thing, too.

    You might get a smile out of my "sell phone" poem. find it about halfway through this: http://hub.me/a7DtV

    Take care, and watch out for speeding ranters...

    Gus :-)))

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi lovedoctor! Thanks for the read. We do have that law here in my state but it isn't really enforced. As for the girl who ran me off the road, I did call 911 after I got over the shock of almost losing control of my vehicle but she was long gone by then and I didn't have time to get a plate number. It's crazy, isn't it? Thanks for caring!

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hey Gus! I got both your messages but you are so funny that I don't mind reading two. :-) I'll be visiting your hub shortly. Trust me, if I ranted every day, I would just get loud and obnoxious. This way, I get to cool off a bit. lol Thanks for the visit.

  • DeborahNeyens profile image

    Deborah Neyens 4 years ago from Iowa

    Great topic for a rant. Every time I see someone driving like an idiot, I assume they are on the phone. And guess what? They usually are. I have a love hate relationship with my cell phone, but I actually use it more for texting than for talking.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Deborah. Thanks for reading my rant. Love/hate relationship? That's okay, even with me, as long as you're not driving near me while you're texting. lol

  • bravewarrior profile image

    Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

    Excellent rant, Linda. Just about every vehicle I encounter is occupied by a distracted driver - talking on the phone or texting. Are they no longer satisfied with putting on their makeup while driving? I wonder if the little lady in the Honda has learned her lesson. What do you think the odds are the answer is 'no'?

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Odds Shauna, about 95/1 that she didn't learn a thing. :-) We can't forget about eating and driving too.

  • bravewarrior profile image

    Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

    Oh yeah there's that. But you don't need the mirror to eat unless you are that much into yourself!

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