1 of 1
Crazy or Cell Phone?
Posted: 26 July 2006 05:02 AM   [ Ignore ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  56862
Joined  2005-02-10

WASHINGTON - Crazy?

Or cell phone?

It’s the latest sidewalk game in the urban canyon:
   
On K Street, a guy in a tie screams at the air, “Who do you think you are?”

In Dupont Circle, a woman downing dainty bites of a muffin ponders, seemingly to no one, “Ummm, no.” Then, more confidently, “No.”

Outside the Capitol, a dapper young man circles a patch of sidewalk, stabs his pen at a notebook and jabbers whispered words to the ground.

Crazy?

Or cell phone?

Used to be that we knew immediately: The phones were, at first, way too big to miss. Then we learned to spot the subtler signs - the hand cradled to the ear, the chiropractically problematic crook-necked shrug, the dark wire dangling down the chatterer’s neck.

But now -

“Who are you talking to?” an older woman asks Vernal Hardy at Neiman Marcus. Inside the store’s luxurious hush the noise of “crazy” is not only unacceptable but flat-out gauche. So Hardy, 26, wearing a wireless headset, shows the woman the tiny apostrophe in his ear. It connects to his cellphone, and it’s so itsy-bitsy it makes his watch face look like the moon on his wrist.

It employs Bluetooth, a short-range wireless technology that creates “personal area networks among your devices, and with other nearby devices,” which sounds vaguely kinky, like a new little friend with benefits. With measurements in the millimeters, this is the latest cellphone gadget to change the ways we denigrate one another.

“You see people arguing, and it looks like he’s schizophrenic!” says bike messenger Jeff Combs, who finds himself moderately reassured when he can say, “Ohhhh. He’s got one of those things on.”

Wireless headsets can cost upwards of $200 and some of those talking most outrageously can be wearing bespoke suits and silk ties. This is not to say that it’s always easy to tell which is which in the game of Crazy? Or cell phone?

Across Dupont Circle struts a debonair man, swinging his sunglasses all jaunty and confident.

“All right,” he’s saying. “That’s right.” Like he’s finishing up a business call and is about to spend the afternoon playing hooky. “Uh huh.”

We walk toward him, armed with our anthropologist questions, then notice: There is no headset. He keeps talking. We back away.

The enthusiastic adopters know how they look. “You’re an idiot” and “What’s wrong with him?” were Ed Schneider’s Bluetoothy judgments before he became one himself. Schneider, 44, is wearing his earpiece at Union Station, waiting for a train back home to Richmond. He’s now addicted: “It’s phenomenal,” he says - repeatedly. “I’m totally sold on it.”

His wife, though? Can’t stand it. She calls Schneider’s oversized earring a “Star Wars-type thing,” and she calls him “Spock.”

We thought the early days of cell phones were bad, with the still unsolved moral equation between the industrious converts (I cannot live without it!) and the pious holdouts (So rude! So tacky!). Who airs their personal business on public sidewalks?

“I’m never gonna do that! That’s crazy,” Darius Carr, 36, promised himself - until not quite a month ago. He now wears his earpiece constantly, even at lunchtime eaten on a downtown bench.

Confesses fanatic Frederic Roane, 48, “I’ve had several girlfriends tell me they don’t like it.”

“Like you’re a robot,” nods Stephen Robinson, 57, who has stopped to talk to Roane at Union Station because they’re both wearing the same Plantronics wireless earpiece. He’s in town from the Bay Area on business.

“It just looks like they’re trying to be important,” continues Roane, quoting his girlfriends.

“Yep, yep,” Robinson agrees, then takes off his earpiece.

Yet we find this all irresistible.

Last year, a scant 2 percent of Americans were “extremely familiar” with Bluetooth, this technology enabling the wireless headsets. This year, that number is 50 percent, a statistical skyrocket dubbed by market analyst Brian O’Rourke as “really shocking.”

In 2005, 33 million wireless earpieces were shipped worldwide, he says. This year’s predicted number: 55 million.

This is our future. Before long, our little street game of Crazy? Or cell phone? will seem a quaint anachronism, like an old address book with no extra spaces for “e-mail” and “cell phone.”

There’s just this final glitch to work out: Discerning when, during conversations, a headsetted or earplugged someone is talking to you, or talking on the phone. This gets especially confusing because the contraption doesn’t necessarily ring, and you can answer with your voice - mumble, mumble, no fumbling with a phone required. So how do you tell when the conversational tides have shifted? Further complicating matters is this: There is no receiver to move back and forth, pulling it back toward the neck when they’re talking to you, and perching it by their mouth when they’re talking on the phone.

Source and rest of article here.

I guess I

 Signature 

2-15-15 9-19 1 19-16-15-18-11 7-15-4-4-5-19-19 15-6 13-9-7-8-20
Turnip Boris Yeltsin frog juggling doormat termite lizard

“Herbal medicine’s been around for thousands of years! Indeed it has. And then we tested it all, and the stuff that worked became medicine. And the rest of it’s just a nice bowl of soup and some pot pourri.” - Dara O’Briain

Profile
 
 
Posted: 26 July 2006 03:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Five Star Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  8385
Joined  2005-04-17

Have to agree.  I find this not only chaotically-confusing, but extremely rude even if you’re not talking as well to a human being in real time right in front of you.  I remember not very long ago listening to a totally insane woman of grand physical proportions talking to herself while at a breakfast buffet.  Her mouth never stopped as she moved about the restaurant from her table (she was alone) and then back to the buffet bar to shovel more food onto her plate and fill up her coffee and juice cups. 

I gave her wide berth since I just knew ‘something was VERY wrong with her’ until I finally saw the very tiny headset swisted around her face. 

I admire multi-tasking, but her constant mumbling, shambling, shoveling, sloshing, loud conversation, scuffing, talking, crescendo speak…..from corner to corner of the eating arena was distracting, disturbing, dibilatating, dumb and as thoughtless as smoking a cigarette at the dinner table while others are eating.

 Signature 

SilentTone: hulitoons blog of just plain silliness?
UBUNTU’ in the Xhosa culture means: ‘I am because we are.)”  So, I AM because WE are

Profile
 
 
Posted: 26 July 2006 04:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Five Star Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5153
Joined  2005-01-11

Hmm, I don’t like headset things, I think they make you look too self-important.

And I agree, starting a convo in the middle of another one is very rude.

 Signature 

If you can’t handle someone at their worst,

You don’t deserve them at their best.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 26 July 2006 05:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  169
Joined  2005-09-23

I find people using the earpiece phones amusing. When they start talking to their phone that you can’t see, I like to look at them as if they are from another planet or in need of their medication. Then the show me that they’re on the phone, and I still give them the outer space look. 

As for talking on a phone while actually engaged in a conversation in person, way bad. About a year ago, I was having a meal with a friend. In the middle of our evening, she received a phone call and talked to that person the entire rest of the time. I do not joke here when I quote her as saying, “Oh I’m having dinner with my best friend, Rain. Yeah, I haven’t seen her in MONTHS!” So I guess she just wanted to LOOK at me instead of talking to me. *Shrugs* After a few other transgressions (which were much worse than poor ettiquet) we are no longer friends.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 26 July 2006 06:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
Five Star Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  8385
Joined  2005-04-17

RainOubliette, I’d want a new friend too.

I was on a dinner date several years ago and my ‘date’ got a phone call, said, ‘excuse me this is a private call.  I hope you don’t mind’, so I got the hint and took a walk away from his conversation.  I did, like an idiot, go out with him a second time but then found others a whole LOT more interesting (and I didn’t have to keep taking walks)

Telephones though, have caused problems for even earlier generations, long before cell phones were even thought of except for crank-field phones the military used in fox holes.  My parents had a VERY strict rule that if the phone rang during dinner hour, NO ONE was to answer it.  Whoever it was would call back if it was important. 

Phones were a lot different too.  My young niece was visiting and I wanted her to call her Mom while she was with me.  My telephone was (still is) on a shelf on my loft bed.  She climbed up, picked up the receiver, then hesitated for a very long time staring at the phone…. 

Finally she asked, ‘Aunt Becky, how does this work???’  It’s a vintage, rotary dial phone

 Signature 

SilentTone: hulitoons blog of just plain silliness?
UBUNTU’ in the Xhosa culture means: ‘I am because we are.)”  So, I AM because WE are

Profile
 
 
Posted: 26 July 2006 10:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  169
Joined  2005-09-23

I used to volunteer in an old theater that had a rotary phone in the lobby for office calls. One evening, a teen needed a ride home and asked to use the phone. After staring at the ancient phone, he started pressing the numbers but nothing happened. He came up to me and told me the phone was out of service. I then showed him how to use the rotary phone. I don’t know which of us felt worse, as I felt OLD since I knew how to operate it or him feeling like a dork. Heh heh.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 27 July 2006 01:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
Five Star Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2065
Joined  2005-12-05

Brings this to mind:

Cell o’ Feign


Oh, and my mom still has a dial phone on her kitchen.  Funny, we still use the word “dial” when we call up a number on the phone although most of us just push buttons these days.

 Signature 

Space…..it seems to go on and on forever, but then you get to the end and the gorrilla starts throwing barrels at you. - Phlip J. Fry

Profile
 
 
Posted: 27 July 2006 01:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
Five Star Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  61098
Joined  2005-04-14

Crazy or Cell Phone?

Why does it have to be “or”?

 Signature 

“If any man wish to write in a clear style, let him be first clear in his thoughts.”

Profile
 
 
   
1 of 1
 
‹‹ The Boy Who Sees with Sound      Putin-phile ››