Friday, August 26, 2005

Dear Diary : The Cell Phone

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.


Blogger Kini said...

I wouldnt know of the morality, but as far as i know, whenever you have a conversation dealing with emotions over a medium that does not involve presence it, as you rightly said, spirals into a fiasco. However, I would never go as far as to blame technology for it, call it my subscription to the religion of engineering or call it just plain ol' stubbornness, but I really think that we're the ones at fault.

I'm sure graham bell didnt intend us to misuse a blessing such as worldwide instant communication in such a grotesque and thoughtless man. This was intended to be a machine that enhanced production, not allowed disgruntled post-adolescents to whittle away their time discussing the sordid intricacies of the timbre of someones voice or great minds to ignore life in lieu of prattling away under the impression that a conversation that lasts as long as most test matches will save a long distance relationship from its inevitable dive.

P.S: I'm sorry, i guess IIT finally worked its spirit into me! *blushes*

8:54 pm GMT-7  
Anonymous Jesvin said...

Sometime last november, some git stole my mobile. Was really peeved obviously, n only got another mobile bout sometime end of december.
Those two months were blissful i tell you. Those who needed to call me, could thru' other means, n i could too by other means available.
Made me realise that its not a necessity at all. Just that since we have it, kinda drags us into the system, n we become slaves or whatever.
The worse part 'bout the network in tamil nadu, is the free local msging. Silly gits with nothing better to do in life, just keep sending trash to any random number. Simply horid buggers.
'nuff ranting...

3:38 am GMT-7  
Blogger Abhi! said...

for me, smsing is fine but I get a lot more information across via a personalised conversation. I think cell phones are one of the best inventions of mankind but their usage again needs to be judicious.

Most mobile Service providers nowadays offer texting free but not always are they a reliable form of communication!!!

there's nothing like a personalised convo

thanks for visiting my blog! keep coming back!!

2:58 am GMT-7  
Blogger Camphor said...

kini ~ Ah well, human nature to misuse what is given / created / invented. I'm not saying the technology is bad - can never be, but I'd rather blame technology than me, when I'm frustrated with the results of the technology - classic case of blame the messenger. I did not throw away my cell phone. In fact, not a scratch on it.. Given an option of not talking at all, and msging, most of us whould choose to msg... and I'm sure you agree.
No need to blush - IIT lingo is interesting to listent o...

Jes ~ Almost as bad is "Hello, I am blah, I wan 2 b ur only friend" *Shudder* Gag me. Glad you showed up to comment.

abhi! ~ Thank you for visiting mine. I agree - nothing like a face-to-face. Pity it happens so rarely.

4:21 am GMT-7  

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