Thursday, April 26, 2007

Another Cellphone Rant

Like your curmudgeonly neighbor who’s always yelling at you to get the hell outta his yard, here I am going off again about cellphones.

Of course, they’re such an easy target; what’s more pathetic than all those people with what my mom used to call “that hand-to-face disease?” In that case, though, they’re only hurting themselves, missing out on self-reflection and solitude.

What really gets me, though, is when the cellphone addiction causes harm to others, and not just the obvious case where the distracted gabber plows his or her SUV into somebody else—who’s also chatting away into their own piece of plastic.

The case I’m thinking of is one I’ve noticed more as the weather improves, and I shed a little tear inwardly every time I see it, which of late, has been almost every day.

And this is where I see parents—usually young mothers, but in several cases dads—walking with their babies—usually in strollers, but in several cases, Baby Bjorn carriers or some other kinds of sling—yakking into their cellphones while Junior sleeps, cries a little, or just stares off into space.

I think something important, maybe even lovely, is being lost: those times when as a parent of an infant when you’re just stuck with him or her, no grownups to talk to, so you’ve got no choice but to be right there, present with the kid.

No doubt this is partly sour grapes on my part; when Mimi was a baby, cellphones were common but not ubiquitous; consequently, there were times when I spent the whole day talking in the voice of her beloved stuffed dog, Bingo; I would have loved to chat with adults, but I couldn’t, so we just stayed in each other’s faces from dawn ‘til dusk.

Maybe that’s not a good thing, but it’s been that way for parents and babies from time immemorial; I’m not sure the current experiment is good for anyone.


Post a Comment

<< Home