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Cell phones

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I am in need of some opinions in order to write a speech. Basically, I am going to try and persuade people to wait to use their cell phones until they are in a place that it would not be considered rude to do so. Do any of you have any opinions or thoughts on the topic of people who use their cell phones at inappropriate times (in a public speaking setting, during a class, in the middle of a conversation, etc.)? Also, if any of you have any stories, etc of times when cell phones have caused unfortunate situations (car accidents and so on) feel free to post these as well. Thanks in advance!
post #2 of 13
We did a pretty cool experiment in my anatomy and physiology class once - maybe you could find a way to recreate it. The basic idea is that you have two people, one giving some sort of cue while pushing a button, and the other who presses another button whenever they get that cue. A computer measures the time inbetween the two button presses.

There were different types of cues - in one the button and vocal cue (like saying "Now") were given at a precise rhythm, in another, just a vocal with random timing, etc. In the trial of interest, the person who pressed the second button was not allowed to look at the first person, and had to try and count backwards by sevens (100, 93, etc.) while responding to a random vocal cue.

The basic idea was that the counting backwards was a distraction, and most of the students did absolutely awful on this trial - a lot of time they even failed to push the button in the required amount of time. I then asked them what they thought their reaction time would be if they had been driving and had a distraction such as a cell phone. Most of them gave me very rueful expressions.

But that would be a really cool concrete example of something you might be able to do in your paper to show just how bad a distraction can really be.
post #3 of 13
There's a famous radio clip where some politician is being interviewed on a radio talk show while driving, and suddenly there's a crash and he says in a stunned voice, "I just got in an accident." I'm sure that could be found online, if it would be useful to you...

And there was an experiment done by one of the network TV newsmagazines that I'm sure you could also track down. They demonstrated that when you're talking on the cell while driving, your field of vision gets smaller, for some reason. You don't see as much off to the sides as you do when you aren't distracted that way. I think this was only about hand-held phones... not sure, though.

And even hands-free cellphones do distract you in the car, as most of us know -- because it's a little more difficult to carry on a conversation with someone over the phone as opposed to in person, so it's not as easy as talking to a passenger in your car.

As for personal opinions...

There's a restaurant I like that has on its menu, "No cellphones in the dining room, please," and I understand why -- a lot of people do tend to talk louder on the phone, and of course the ringtones are annoying. But I absolutely will not turn my phone off! I'll set it on vibrate, and I'll answer quietly, and I'll step outside if I have to talk at any length... but I won't put myself completely out of touch. Same at the movies!

I've heard people say that it's rude to talk on the cell in a store, too, but I don't have a problem with that as long as you keep the volume down to normal conversational tone, as if you were talking to someone there with you. Part of the usefulness of cellphones is that you can ask whether someone wants smooth or chunky peanut butter, y'know?

But at the doctor's office, for example... that's not the place for a cellphone conversation. But because my parents are elderly, I'm afraid to just not answer if it's them calling -- so what I do is let them know that I'm going to be in the doctor's office for the next hour, so please don't call unless it's an emergency. That way, I have to look at the phone to see who's calling, but unless it's the folks, I don't have to answer.

Good luck with your speech!
post #4 of 13
First of all, good luck writing your speech.

I have a microbiology teacher who HATES cell phones going off in her class. The very first day of class, someone's phone went off (not mine, I put it on vibrate). She got MAD. Told us that if anyone's cell phone went off during a test or practical, it's an automatic 20 point deduction on the test. Needless to say, before every single test all you hear are cell phones being put on silent. I do admit- it's really annoying for it to go off when you're in class. I had one person in my A&P class actually TAKE a call while the teacher was lecturing! She did leave the room, but I thought it was a bit rude to take a call while in class. She wasn't in the class for very long, I think she was having childcare issues.

I do have one. Not many people have my cell number. I did give it to both of my girls' schools, but I put down that it's for an emergency, and I've never gotten a phone call from school there. They are handy, but I feel that it's inapropriate (sp) and rude to be sitting and gabbing away on the phone whenever you want. I've seen people in line at Target talking on the phone while checking out. Talking on the phone in the bank, and there's a sign that says NO CELL PHONE CALLS WHILE IN LINE. Sheesh, can't they read?
post #5 of 13
We have a horrific advertisement over here at the moment as part of a nationwide campaign to stop people using their phones whilst driving - basically a woman phones her husband, he is driving while talking to her on the phone, and he is killed in a car crash - you see her screaming because she realises that indirectly, she has caused his death - the tag line is something like ' When you know they're driving - kill the call" It's pretty graphic and really puts the message over.

Generally though, the whole world is caught up in a cellphone culture, and it makes us so rude and ignorant - I hate it when I am talking to someone and their phone rings and they say 'Oh, hang on, let me take this call......' Surely the person you are talking to is your priority. I feel that, if you answer a call during a meeting/conversation etc, you are saying to the other person "actually, this phone call is more important than what you are talking about"

Mobile phone technology can make us less interested in our friends and colleagues - I have noticed so many folks recently who have 'half' conversations because they are engrossed in testing/phoning, and they miss entire conversations because their mind is elsewhere. My personal opinion is that, unless it is an urgent situation, you give the task at hand your full attention, and if you are speaking to someone, you give them enough respect to concerntrate on them, rather than checking out your phone
post #6 of 13
Don't know if it will help your paper but I have some pet peeves about my friends usage of cell phones.. One friend thinks it is good to call me while she is walking to the gym, or shopping or something like that. If she's walking fast I have to listen to her huff and puff while she is trying to talk. If she is in a store , she stops talking to me to talk to the sales girl, waitress etc. I CAN'T STAND THIS. Don't do me any favors, skip the phone call. I am not your diversion while you wait.
Then I have another friend that is soooo cheap, she can't stand to spend the pennies it cost to call me from center city, so she got a cell phone that has free minutes after nine, and it sounds horrible, it must be cheap as well, Well guess what? I don't like to talk on the phone at 9 pm. I am tired and there is usually a TV program I want to watch. again, don't do me any favors.
then of course I have the usual peeves about drivers, and people in public that think their conversation is so fascinating, that they talk loud enough for everyone to hear.
Cell phones are great for emergencies, but other than that, they are a total waste.
post #7 of 13
Originally Posted by 4BadCats View Post
...Mobile phone technology can make us less interested in our friends and colleagues - I have noticed so many folks recently who have 'half' conversations because they are engrossed in testing/phoning...
I know a guy who does this, then he tells you, "Oh, pardon me, I'm 'multi-tasking.'" So lame. I dislike all phones. Why do we have to be so accessible all the time?
post #8 of 13
I think it's extremly rude when people use their cell phones in check out lines (not self-check outs). When you purchase things, it's a business transaction- even if it's just groceries- people need to look their checker in the eye, be polite and get off the phones. I temporarily worked in a grocery store a few months ago when i was between jobs (i worked mostly in floral, but checked occassionally as well) it suprised me just how incredable rude people could be. I would ring up their entire order- ask them if they found everything they needed, etc and be polite and they would not even look at me! Just stay on the phone and yap away and ignore me. There is nothing more rude than making a person feel invisible when you're on the phone- if you're interacting in person with someone, you do not need to be on the phone in my opinion. I love my cell phone- but there are approprite times and places to use it.
post #9 of 13
Originally Posted by Sneakymom View Post
I have a microbiology teacher who HATES cell phones going off in her class. The very first day of class, someone's phone went off (not mine, I put it on vibrate). She got MAD. Told us that if anyone's cell phone went off during a test or practical, it's an automatic 20 point deduction on the test.
LOL! I had one that hated them too & spoke out about them. One day HE got a phone call in class!!! He was so embarrassed!
One professor used to answer them in class and talk to the person. That was fun.
Now everyone just text messages

I guess I am a minority, I don't care if others around me use cell phones at most anytime. It is their thing. Except on the road while driving, I wish they would use a bluetooth.
I worked as a cashier back during my undergrad, and I wouldn't care at all if people talked on their cell phones while checking out. I didn't feel they owed me anything, they were on their time. It did not bother me at all.
post #10 of 13
OK, BAD BAD places to use cell phones:

~Bathrooms (yes some people I work with do continue their conversations in the bathroom)

~Loud clubs
~When someone is talking to you and the phone rings
~When its just you and another person on a date (unless the date is going that bad)

~Dialing while driving
~Malls (really point of sales - IMO for security purposes...if you're not paying attention to the transaction then someone could overcharge you)

Hmmm..those are off the top of my head.
post #11 of 13
Originally Posted by SwampWitch View Post
Why do we have to be so accessible all the time?
Tell me about it!
I have two cell phones, neither one I personally pay for though. If I had to pay for them, I just wouldn't. They are not worth it to me.
post #12 of 13
Remember when we didn't have cell phones, and we were perfectly fine all the time? Yeah, those days were good...Not as much annoying "multitasking" going on.
post #13 of 13
"Why do we have to be so accessible all the time?" I guess some people don't have to be, and that's fine for them... but please, understand that there are those who really need to be reachable for legitimate reasons. For example:

I have elderly parents. My father, in particular, is not well and is very prone to falling. He's also in the early stages of Alzheimer's, he gets panicked easily, and he simply will not call 911... so it's important that he be able to reach me instantly.

And I think anyone who has kids would have to be crazy not to stay accessible by phone -- what if something happened at school? You'd want to know instantly, so you could get there and be with your little one. And if your child is taken to the hospital, most places won't even treat a minor until they reach the parents for permission. I think it verges on irresponsibility for a parent not to be accessible by cellphone.

And of course, there are lots of stories of people in kidnapping situations, car wrecks that can't be seen from the road, hiking accidents and so forth, who were only rescued because they had a cellphone with them.

Yes, we got along without it before -- but now the technology is there, and it has saved a lot of lives. That's much more important to me than whether someone's phone conversation is annoying.
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