Sunday, September 30, 2007

Hanging (myself) on the telephone

One the things I enjoy most about going to west coast beaches like Bethells and Karekare is the fact that there’s no cellphone reception out there. Whenever you’re contactable you don’t feel like you’re entirely able to relax. There’s still that chance you might be called by one of those undesirables such as work, the landlord, Baycorp or an annoying ‘mate’ who has the cellphone fixation of a 14 year old girl. You could argue that cellphone reception in such an area may be very useful. For example, what if you got stuck in a rip and your mate on the beach (who has the swimming ability of a triple amputee) was unable to phone the Westpac rescue chopper? Honestly, I’m happy to sacrifice my safety in remote areas for the chance to isolate myself from the world. I have a friend who was staying at his bach with no landline and cellphone coverage back in 2001. He didn’t find out about 9/11 until four days afterwards. I envied him.

I also completely agree with McGuigan when he claims that modern 18 year olds assume that it’s impossible to have a social life without a cellphone and states when he was this age, he had mates and always managed to meet up with them. I would go so far as to argue that the increasing reliance on new technologies such as cellphones and social networking sites is causing ‘kids’ today to become more introverted. Always knowing where your mates are actually means that people leave the house less (or at least later) because they know they are able to hook up later at their leisure. I have raised this issue with numerous friends between the ages of 28-35 who all agree. When we were younger we would go out without fail each Friday and meet up with our crew same time, same place. If we didn’t get there in time it could mean a night playing scrabble with the olds so everyone made the effort. It also meant that if you arranged to meet a friend somewhere you couldn’t just flick them a text and cancel if they weren’t home.

I managed to prolong getting a mobile until I was 22 and still have friends who are sans-phone. They have great social lives and are some of the most popular people I know. People used to drop around at least two or three times a week for an après work/skate beer, as this is how you would catch up on gossip and find out what they are up to. Now they just send you a text. The next song I write is going to be the antithesis of that Blondie number AKA “Don’t call me!”


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