Cell Phone Ethics

I salute the pioneers of communication development and technological transformation. Yes, there are many things in life made simpler because of this amazing device. Today, as many of the advertisements claim, we can reach anyone, anywhere at any time (yes there is a slight glitch of network availability) but apart from that very big if clause, there is virtually none. It’s not the cost, or the availability or the dearth of those devices, but today there is one thing missing from the social communities i.e. ethics of cell phone talk.

Sounds weird, I agree. No, it is not another flow sheet or chapter to be written in the management books, but it is something which I think should be included in the primary school education. Something like hygiene or moral science (uh-oh…I guess many people have missed out those chapters too), but nevertheless it deserves a mention. Currently bearing the brunt of living with a set of people lacking in these very ethics makes life of those aspiring to live a normal life also perhaps as bad, if not worse.

Yes, talking is the key to relationship building. I wholeheartedly agree. Many being excited about their budding love-lives tend to spend eons of time on the device. No harm at all. But what if you have a room-mate? Do I have to bear all the giggling, hush-hush talk, sweet nothings lying on my bed (sadly in the same room) trying not to imagine vivid depictions of throwing out my phone-addicted room-mate’s phone and strangling her would-be lover. You sleep listening to their laughter and conversation (how I wish we also had some ear flaps or something). You are tired of asking her to go to the next room. (“My legs hurt man…I want to lie down and talk”) You are woken by that irritating love-laden ring tone with some singer crooning “Tu hi meri shab hai” and her excited “Hi…” before plunging into her razai with it in the vain attempt of blocking out the noise and voices.

If you thought this was bad, there is worse. When the talking changes to singing and the person in question is not a good singer, life seldom goes on normally. First day you try to rack your brains about which song it is. Once you discover it’s not even worth listening to, and then you try and distract yourself from the voice. By the third day when her boyfriend asks her to sing again for him you wonder if he is really listening on the other side. You make pitiful faces, pretend to be sick, have a headache but all that falls flat in front of love I suppose.

Have you sat in a room full of people watching TV? Oh yes, I have. Except here when I actually entered the room, everyone was on their earphones talking excitedly on their respective phones and the TV was mute! Has it happened that you actually think the person is talking to you only to sheepishly discover you have been replying to things not targeted at you in front of a very amused cell-phone user? It is almost habitual for me to be the target in such instances.

Girl on (invisible)earphone: I know this is your favorite color.
You: Arre no no…I just got this last…
Girl madly gesticulates towards her phone and you give that “Oh..Im sorry” look, wondering why you didn’t notice that thin grey wire coming out of her head before.

You awake to the sounds of a ring tone…sleep with them talking. At the most absurd hours you are amazed to find people still walking and talking on the phones .Full CAT papers are solved on the phone and accurate dress descriptions including the nuances of its fittings or ill-fittings are conveyed most vividly. People become one handed and the other hand is more often than not, yours. You close bottle-lids, cupboard doors and even pick up heavy stuff. The phone follows them everywhere and nowadays due to its limited battery capacity being exploited beyond words, the charger also follows. Every cell phone scheme is learnt by heart and all the recharge dealers are known in the vicinity on a first name basis.

You might argue that everyone in love (or its many forms) does that. But let the other person live! I don’t think I have ever gotten myself addicted to the device like people nowadays have. From being hyperactive messagers to all-time talkers, today’s youth are now totally INTO their cell phones. Forget being INTO music or INTO someone, you are actually INTO your goddamn phone!

Live and let live.
Talk but Let Sleep.



4 thoughts on “Cell Phone Ethics

  1. how bout phones ringing in a library or seminar halls? Some ppl do not knw how to silence d ringing before they receive d call, and d phone keeps ringing till dey r out. Worse r ppl who receive d calls right away disturbing every1 else! I think cell phone companies should give an etiquette manual wid the user manual..

  2. it is both the timing and the content of the talks that is disturbing…i mean why would i want to know about the lovers’ future plans discussed at surprisingly high volumes. even in movie theaters and as daniel said, libraries, it is very irritating to hear phones ringing. While I am at it, phones ringing in the offices, with all kinds of funny and senti ringtones playing at the loudest volumes, are an equally big nuisance. I dont know how useful an etiquette manual will be… it is not hard to ignore the written text…just throw it in a corner without bothering about it, just like your roomie…no biggie!
    How do you deal with this though, I have no idea!!

  3. Oh we’ll learn to live with it alright, just like we live with dirty roads, bad governance, any form of eve teasing, .. you name it. We’re just amazing at putting up with nuisance, guess it’s part of what makes us the most-evolved species.

  4. Well, my guess is that you are single, and your room mate is committed.
    Living with a room mate, this could be the least of the problems one might face.
    As for the “ethics” part, shouldn’t we have ’em for EVERYTHING, why only cell phones???

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