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Information age annoyance

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How many times have you been in this situation?

You’re sitting around with your buddies. You’re having a good conversation – talking sports, girls or debating whether or not a Robert La Follette 1908 presidential election victory would have prevented World War I.

Then, the dreaded cell phone starts violently vibrating, ringing louder than Sunday church bells, and one of your friends picks up the phone and starts chatting away.

Wait a second. Wasn’t I talking to you? Weren’t we having a conversation?

What is so important that you needed to interrupt me and everyone and immediately start talking to someone else?

Sometimes the person on the phone doesn’t even know.

“What? I can’t hear you. Where are you? You did what?”

Oh, I see. Somebody had to call and tell you that he just ran into your sister’s ex-boyfriend’s brother.

You’re right, that was important.

Congratulations, you have just enhanced the bad reputation of our generation.

The reputation that says we talk all day on our cell phones in order to let those around us know that, hey, we are pretty important people with more friends than you’ll even know.

Every minute I’m checking my e-mail, that’s a minute lost of studying, reading a book or working out in the gym.

And it doesn’t matter what time of day it is. I’ll be walking down the hill for an 8 a.m. class and wonder what in the heck the guy in front of me could possibly be talking about that early in the morning.

There’s little chance it could be important. The conversations usually consist of the person debating with the caller whether or not her shoes look good on her or what Tommy might have said about her at Friday’s house party.

I’m sorry, but I’ve woken up to one too many 6 a.m. cell phone calls to let this communication-age syndrome persist.

As much good as cell phones do, they do as much harm, if not more. They take away from the basic elements of human communication and put priorities out of whack.

Did you hear the United States might invade Iran?

No I didn’t, I was too busy trying to figure out how to download Nelly’s new song as my ringtone.

Where is Iran, anyway?

Can we please get back to a society that worries more about a possible Iran invasion or the California mudslides, rather than what ringtone they have or what skin they should buy to look cool?

The same goes for e-mail. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m an e-mail-aholic, constantly checking my inbox to see if there’s anything good.

It’s very quick and convenient, but for every minute I’m checking my e-mail, that’s a minute lost of studying, reading a book or working out in the gym.

But e-mail is nothing compared to the annoyance of cell phones. And our generation is to blame.

Technology can be really great, but sometimes seemingly basic needs get sacrificed, such as face-to-face human interaction.

So unless it’s an emergency, do society a favor and get off the phone. I think the others in the room would like to resume their conversation now.

Schaaf is a sophomore print journalism major and a news editor of The Spectator.

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The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.
Information age annoyance