Archive for Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Cat’s Eye: A population that’s plugged-in

August 27, 2008

By now, we've all been there.

We've all witnessed the woman with a carload of kids maneuvering through Kansas City traffic holding a cell phone. We've all yelled the admonition to, "Hang up and drive!"

We've all cringed at the lady walking through the shampoo aisle in Wal-Mart having a conversation that would rival the drama of "The Young and the Restless."

We've suffered through entire meals at Gambino's listening to the booth next door talking too loudly to people not in the restaurant. We have even witnessed people dining together, but each one talking to a different unseen entity.

We've all been greeted by someone we don't know in the grocery store, only to realize with some embarrassment that they weren't talking to us; they were talking to the invisible conversation partner in the Bluetooth devise sticking out of the other side of their head.

We've even tried to talk to someone while they were "talking" to someone else via texting.

We seem to be a people obsessed with multi-tasking.

When I was a teen, (I know I'm really dating myself here) the in thing was CB radios. It gave parents a feeling of security to send their kids out on the road with a way to reach them, or at least a way that the kids could reach somebody if they were in trouble. And living on a muddy gravel road, I used that radio many times to call my dad to come pull me out of the mud.

The radios were mostly viewed by the kids, however, as pure fun.

"Break 1-9 for the Puddle Jumper. This is Daisy Mae. Hey there, good buddy, what's your 20? There's a Smokey heading your way. We be gone, catch ya on the flip flop. Bye bye."

OMG, LOL! This was the texting of the '70s! And we were really annoying with it.

However, there was one difference - the radios stayed in the cars. We didn't have them strapped to our heads talking to people everywhere we went.

And although half of today's population can't shut up to save their lives, the other half is constantly listening to something. I have a guilty desire to gather up all the earbuds in my house while everyone is sleeping (I'd have to take them out of their ears if they were awake) and cut them up into tiny little pieces.

Then I'd run them through a blender, pour gasoline on them, and set them ablaze.

Every time I get that "what do you want now" look as they remove a "bud" so they can hear what I've just said, the details of my plan come into sharper focus.

I may become the Carrie Nation of the new Get Unplugged Movement. An ax would be a bit much, though ... maybe a croquet mallet or a cricket bat. If I practice, I might be able to whack a Bluetooth headset across the room without rustling an ear hair.

And if I miss, well, maybe I'll just knock some sense into them.


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