In Case You've Wondered

My blog is where my wandering thoughts are interspersed with stuff I made up. So, if while reading you find yourself confused about the context, don't feel alone. I get confused, too.

If you're here for the stories, I started another blog:

One other thing: sometimes I write words you refuse to use in front of children, or polite company, unless you have a flat tire, or hit your thumb with a hammer.

I don't use them to offend; I use them to embellish.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Janie Was On Her Soap Box

Janie commented on my post about social media and I thought it was important enough to use as a post.

"...Interesting point. As an adult learner in college, it is absolutely crazy to me how these young people can't get through a one hour class without texting their friends or checking Facebook/Twitter, etc.
Some people are even shocked to hear I don't do either one. They are even more shocked to hear I leave my cellphone in my office when I go to class. And up until very recently my cellphone was such an old model it didn't even have a camera in it, much less have 4G connectivity! Horrors!!!! How did I survive?!?

Once, I forgot to turn off my phone and it rang in my purse. My boss was in the office and heard it. When I got back after class she expressed her concern and had been wondering if she should have come and got me and realized she didn't know where my classroom was. She was all the more shocked when I didn't hurry to check my message.

"Aren't you worried something happened?" She asked.

"Well, 20 years ago we didn't all have cellphones and if there was an emergency we just found out about it after the fact and we survived. Besides, even if there was an emergency what would I do about it? If someone died, knowing an hour earlier wouldn't do me or them any more good than finding out an hour later, and if there had been an accident an ambulance would get my family to the hospital faster than I could, so, again, what good would it do to find out and be able to do nothing about it until it was too late?"

She was stunned. But, fact is, we forget that life happens whether we know about it instantly or after the fact. I think all this social media does is give us a false sense of our own importance and prevents us from really feeling secure and capable in our own right. It's the very worst form of peer pressure imaginable.

I'll get down off my soap box now...."


  1. I'm in total agreement with Janie.

    I too have a nearly obsolete cell phone. I bought it years back when my favorite Aunt that lived in Baltimore passed away in case I got lost and needed to call relatives for directions. It's been over 3 decades since I lived out there and it's changed dramatically over those years.

    To this day that cell phone remains turned off unless there is a dire emergency. If anyone needs my phone number they get my home number. My workplace doesn't know my cell phone exists. If they did know, I'd be required to give them the number. Their thinking it would make me more accessible after regular hours. Wrong. If I'm not available at my home number then I'm obviously busy and not available.

    I too do not have text capabilities on my cell phone. I don't see any reason behind text. If you don't have the time or inclination to personally converse with me via real time audio then don't, and don't text me because I don't have the time or inclination to carry out a conversation via texting.

    Several friends have managed to obtain my cell number over the years and are astonished that I don't respond to their trying to contact me, whether through audio or text on my cell phone. I always remind them that I only have that phone to make emergency calls, not to explain to them what I'm doing at the moment they call or such. And that if they need to reach me they can call my home number. If I'm home I'll answer, if not leave a message and I'll get back to them.

  2. I have a flip-top phone, which can do a lot of things, but I don't use those things. I use it for communicating and that communication is verbal. It's mostly for work and the few texts I receive are from my wife. Answering is tedious, since I don't have a keyboard and the hunt-and-peck approach usually is only a "k" to indicate I received the message.

    My phone has voice mail, which I call my personal secretary. If I don't want to answer, I won't, which leads some people aghast, when I don't answer. I tell them: "If it's a real emergency, they can call 911."

  3. YUP. I think we're pretty much on the same page.

  4. College prof here.

    It drives me mad how addicted some folks are to their phones. I am going to have to institute a policy, after a couple gobsmacking incidents, where, if you make an appointment to meet with me, and you STOP during the appointment to check whatever friend just updated their Facebook status, your appointment with me is OVER.

    Seriously, is this a generational thing? (I am 44). I consider it rude to stop and check your phone or e-mail while talking to someone else but I see people younger than me doing it all the time. I think it's especially rude if you have asked the other person to give you some of their time (Like a student coming in and asking me to, say, explain how to calculate a t-test again)

    1. I think that's a good idea. If they can't respect you, they can learn courtesy.