Sunday, April 15, 2007

What moment are you in?

I was on an elevator at work yesterday with someone who was talking full volume on her Razor phone. She exited on the floor a couple below mine, and I rolled my eyes and confessed to the other passenger, "I just can't get used to that. I guess I'm just old."

The young woman looked blankly back at me, then removed her ear buds and said, "Have a nice day," as she scooted out. Of the three women in that elevator, I was the only one actually in that elevator.

Beyond the breach of manners, which is considerable (what makes you think I want to hear one side of your conversation with your husband who, apparently has just dropped you off five minutes ago?) elevator cellphones offend me.

Suddenly our real lives aren't enough for us. We need to check in with three voicemails, three email accounts, our news groups, and our bookmarked web news pages to equip ourselves for the day. These overloading distractions, by definition, remove us from the real time lives we're trying to live.

People usually define greed as a monetary lust. But there's a new greed these days...a greed for existing in an excess of "present moments." It's an impossible irony. We all want so much to be "in the moment," but we can't decide which moment is the real one.

Okay, I'm a hypocrite. I'm starting this blog hoping people will take time out from their own real time moments to give a damn what I'm thinking.

So do me a favor and get your eyes away from a screen and your ears away from a speaker for a moment. Find yourself some old-school, flesh-on-flesh, eye-contact-generating, outdoor, fresh air reality.

Like the amazing tree at the top of this blog, for instance.

See you next time!


darth taco said...

gimme a line, a pole, some bait and a hole and right there's a damn fine buncha moments just waiting to be lived in.

'speshly since Science has proven that fish feel no pain . . . unlike deer or cheetah or what have you.

Bruce Springsteen said...

I was in the grocery store canned vegetable aisle last weekend, behind a person with a cell phone, who was telling the person on the other end that she was in the vegetable aisle of the grocery store. Fascinating!

recycler27 said...

It seems that selfishness is the dominant value among the jaded occupants of this cultural environment. These electronic devices, intended for communication, actually further isolate people from one another--each person gets lost in his/her own personal preoccupations, to the exclusion of any community awareness.
Cell phones are the inheritors of the tamagachi toys made for children in the 80s. The compulsives who nurtured their pathetic little electronic pets as children are now re-experiencing their childhood obsessions with these glittery bleeping secret decoder rings and star trek transponders. One hopes that these people will grow up and achieve some level of social consciousness before ramming their cars into an immovable object first.

Jas P. said...

While I was in the shower this morning, Jonah came into the bathroom with my cell phone and asked if he could play with it. Since I find the thing a complete pain in the ass and refuse to read the manual to figure out why the ringtone keeps switching from vibrate to disco, I figured someone should have some fun with it, so I said, "Sure."

Pretty soon, I start hearing these little beeps and boops and bettys coming from the phone and he's saying, "Oh, this is a good game!" (I had no idea you could play Tetris and Pac Man on my phone, but he found them in no time.) Then, as I'm getting out of the shower, he says, "Say cheese, Dad!" and snaps a picture of me. It's blurry, but he gets me in the frame. I believe the line is from "My Cousin Vinny" -- "and I thought I couldn't feel worse than I already do."

It's a new phone (Motorola), and a fairly new kid (six). He'd never messed with it before. Within two minutes, he's doing things I've never done with it. I'm smart and could learn to do them, too. But I have no interest. When did toys stop becoming fun?

Today's answer: When they became tools for oppression and cost $50 a month.

PS: Hey, Mol, I'm linking to your blog from mine. You'll find it in my sidebar today...

mol the doll said...

Hi all. Didn't know there were this many old-schoolers in blogworld.

I also love it that certain people will call me only from their cars. God forbid they should take time from their real, productive hours to call me at work.

Given yesterday's events, these are petty gripes. I'm even inclined to say "whatever"
to people who need three or four realities at a time.

So whatever.