Monday, January 24, 2011
Quit Tweeting Your iPhone in MySpace or I'll Punch You in the Facebook
I recently dropped my cellphone for the 1000th time...and that last one was finally the one that did it. My phone was over 3 years old and it's a virtual dinosaur compared to all the idiot phones everyone has surgically attached to their hands these days.
I called up my local customer service agent in India to see how much a new phone would cost me.
I was treated to a 3 minute "smart" phone sales pitch if I would only sign a 2 year contract extension, plus an activation fee for data services, including unlimited text messaging, email and web surfing.
In short, I could double my current phone bill just so I can carry around an internet connection 24/7.
I told the sales rep in India that I couldn't afford it at that time and cut him off before he could garble out his call center customer service up-selling script response from his computer screen in his Indian accent.
After thinking about it for a awhile, I headed down to the drug store and bought a pre-paid "track" phone sold under the brand of my current cell phone provider for $20. I pulled out the SIM card from my broken phone, slapped it into the new phone, turned it on and laughed out loud.
No 5 mega-pixel camera.
No slide out QWERTY keyboard for "blazing fast texting!"
No 6 gig mp4 player.
No GPS system, or download-able apps.
No hip-hop, rap, rock or country ring tones.
Just a phone.
To make phone calls.
What a novel concept.
See, I've noticed that more and more people everywhere are becoming social media "smart" phone zombies.
At malls, parks, sporting events, concerts, parties, public transportation, bars, restaurants, in traffic, at weddings, funerals and baby birthday parties, I see more and more people looking down at their hand held devices at any given moment, absorbed in their own little cyber-world of disassociated, de-personalized socialization.
I'm sick to death of it.
I see people in the middle of conversations at parties, or meals at public restaurants interrupt the living breathing person in front of them, and without even so much as an "excuse me," to look down at one of these idiot phones.
Worse yet, I've been to parties where over half the people are standing around, letting their beverages get warm and conversation is almost non-existant while everyone is tweeting, youtubing, googling, facebooking, blogging, texting, sexting, real-time chatting, online shopping and porn surfing....all for $70 a month of unlimited bandwidth!
I was at a party in Las Vegas the other day, observing a group of people doing just this. And the ones who weren't in the middle of looking at their little obsession boxes, would still neurotically glance down at their devices every minute or so...desperately hoping for a text, or a tweet, or a call, or SOMETHING so they could have the chance to deploy their device and join in on the fun the rest of the party-goers seemed to be so preoccupied with.
It's like watching a bunch of lab rats hitting the lever for the next hit of crack.
Since I had no one to talk to, as I don't have a smart phone of my own, I began to sit in the corner with my beverage and ruminate. One of the memes of the conspiracy theory genre of the internets was the idea that eventually our overlords would have we the Sheeple implanted with RFID chips just like the humane society does with cats and dogs, so that Big Mother would be able to monitor our wherabouts 24/7.
The idea sounds horrific...one for which should the Government come forward and announce that chip implantation of the general populace would begin, I imagine there would be a mass revolt.
Except....who needs to force the people to have a chip implanted in their skin so that their exact GPS coordinates, their interpersonal conversations, their sex fetishes, their relationship status or their general mood could be tracked by an extensive electronic surveillance matrix at any given time...when you can just call them "smart phones" and get people to PAY to carry it with them wherever they go?