Friday, April 07, 2006

The cellular umbilical

I'm always struck, in traveling around campus and throughout this college town, by the extent to which the cell phone has become a means of enabling a shortened attention span. Typically, I see students get into their cars, turn on the ignition, and before even pulling out, open their cell phones. And I've overheard dozens of variations of the following conversation:

[Student is sitting in coffeeshop, textbooks open and ostensibly "studying", but in fact staring into space and visibly bored. Student puts down yellow highlighter, delves into Dolce Gabbano-knockoff bag and flips open cell phone]

Student: "Hey, what're you doin'?"

Cell phone: [...............]

Student: "Nothin'. Just sitting here studying."

Cell phone: [................]

Student: "No, I didn't go. That class is totally a waste. He never says anything interesting."

Cell phone: [................]

Student: "Oh, OK. I'll let you go...hey, are you going to the party Saturday night?"

Cell phone: ["Call ended" signal]

Student: [punch mindlessly at phone "Talk" button...pause...sigh; stare into space...punch "Talk" button]

Student: "Hey, what're you doin'?"

[continue ad nauseum]

What I'm now observing is that these kids learn this from their Moms. I've just had the misfortune of being trapped behind a botox-ed mom having a stunningly banal conversation, about clothes, families, and makeup, with her daughter and another mom/daughter combo. Finally, the other three departed, and Botox Mom was left alone.

B-M: [delve into Dolce Gabbano bag, flip open phone] "Hey, what're you doin'?"

Jesus. No wonder George Bush is still avoiding impeachment. These people have the attention span of a fruit fly.

1 comment:

taiyo said...

ah, what a nightmare!
i'd buy ya a whiskey if i could--maybe one of those three-teaspoons-and-die kind. or perhaps a poteen. would that help any, do you think?
:-)