Gypsy's Travels

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Learning to Love My Cell Phone

I watch the faces of drivers in cars that pass by me as I wait at red lights. It is amazing how many of them are talking on their cell phones. I was horrified the other day as I watched an 18-wheeler make a precarious turn into the lane beside me. He was turning that big rig, in a tight turn, with ONE hand on the wheel, the other hand holding his cell phone up to his ear, and his mouth going a mile a minute. If he had hit something or lost control, he would have said it was an "accident."

Have cell phones freed us or enslaved us? Just a few years ago when I was on call many hours each day and night, I had to be close to my home phone or rely on a "beeper." The cell phone absolutely liberated me....if it had a signal where I was.

I recently found an old GTE MobileNet Newsletter (Winter 1990-91) that touted the headline "Cellular Subscribers Top 4 Million." Some information excerpted from this newsletter was rather interesting:

The new milestone comes less than 7 years after the first cellular system was activated.
You are not restricted to using your cellular phone just around home. When you visit another city, you can dial local calls just as you do at home.
Try to answer your cellular phone promptly since most cellular companies bill for ring time.
Cellular is not a perk and it is not a luxury.

By the middle of 2005, there were 2.4 billion cell phone subscribers.

The numbers continue to grow. A service that was considered primarily for business people or the elite, is now often used in place of regular home telephone service. As for me, the cell phone has become an essential. I guess that happened late one night when my car broke down.

It was late when I left my shift at the hospital and drove through the dark streets of an "unsavory" part of town. My car died in a really dark area next to an abandoned building. I don't know if I were more worried about someone stopping or someone not stopping. I locked the doors, whipped out my cell phone, which I had previously considered a luxury, and alerted DH to my dilemma. It seemed like a long wait, in the dark, vulnerable to possible predators lurking in the shadows. My fears seemed well founded as a man emerged from a hidden spot near the building and walked in my direction. I watched with trepidation as the indistinct form materialized. Then I noticed he was pushing a grocery cart overloaded with all his worldly possessions. He was afraid of me and was getting out of there! I have had a cell phone ever since then.


  1. What is also bad it those people with Blue-Tooth installations in their ear. They seem to be talking to them selves or to you but look at you like your an idiot, when you answer them.

  2. At least the Blue-Tooth users are safer. They have both hands free for the wheel!

  3. you know I have thought the same thing as you many times...have the cell phones captured or released us....there certainly have been times I have been thankful to of had my phone....but the one time I really needed it I didn't...I was driving to work last winter it was dark 0615 in the vehicle dies...I am on a very isolated part of the lights.....the closest gas station is a few kilometers back...I need to get to a phone to call my husband....I bundle up...and start my trek....and vehicle comes along....I bravely or ignorantly flagged them down....he picked me up and drove me to the gas station...I was thankful...but really what a risk I had I not forgotten my cell I could have just called in cases like that I think they are wonderful....but to be used as frequently as they are..and like you said a semi trucker using while making a turn..just isn't right to me....I know they are trying to pass laws which says you have have to have handless phones in the car...but how would you enforce that....hmmmm

  4. It might seem that Blue Tooth or hands-free cells would be safer, I wonder if they really are. There has to be a certain amount of concentration to carry on a conversation and that in itself is distracting. So....we don't notice the car zooming up behind us or the quick lane changer, the person who runs the STOP sign that might have made us mad but we could have avoided. I, too, hate it when I accidentally answer someone who is talking to his ear, but who is really the ridiculous looking one?
    I wonder if we are the victims of our own technology.
    Thanks to all for the insights....


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