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Thumbs Down

February 27, 2015

We have all seen the newest infirmity to hit our population: thumbitis maximus or a big pain in the thumb. Why is this the newest scourge to our health care system? In a word, cell phones and specifically texting. It has indeed become epidemic.

A few modest examples:

1) An elderly couple were having breakfast here in our rural little town one Saturday. I watched them for over an hour as they texted each other back and forth but never spoke a word. That’s a 9.5 on my weird shitometer.

2) A young couple were eating together at Bojangles’. Actually, the husband was eating and his wife was apparently more interested in texting everyone she knew and getting an extra half hour of web surfing in to boot! After she finished her marathon texting, she shoved her whole sandwich in her mouth as she refilled her 44 ounce Coke and waddled out the door.

3) Three out of every four cars that approach me on any given street or highway have a driver who is on a cell phone. Obviously all of them are distracted drivers but our state law here says it’s okay to talk, just not text. Yeah…. right! Tell that to the dead guys.

4) Our neighborhood children wait at the bottom of our street after being dumped off by a tax payer funded bus, cell phone in hand, until their mommies come with the car to transport them less than one block home. The only exercise these little fatties are getting is thumb building. I said hello to them once but they didn’t hear me; they were too occupied.

I am not against technology, computers or cell phones. However, there is a place to all things under heaven, even phones. The overuse and abuse of cell phones in our country and every other county has two major negative impacts on our society. First, people are increasingly disconnected from society and unable in most cases to carry a simple conversation person to person in their native language. The second problem is equally if not more grave. We are seeing motorists and pedestrians die every day at alarming rates because of cell phone usage. When is enough enough?

The first problem can be corrected using a simple word: moderation. There really is no need for a mother to phone each of her three children from the supermarket to ask each which frozen entree they prefer. Likewise, streaming Oprah live while heading down a freeway at 80 mph is in no one’s best interest. Such excesses are simply absurd but exist every day. I did not see the reasoning when I went to the cinema in Italy and virtually every person in the theater was on the phone during the film, talking of torta (the cake they made) and other insignificant subjects. The disruption factor in our society is enormous and discourages socialization skills which are already in short supply within our population. We need to remember that word: moderation.

The second problem can only be addressed with a nationwide ban on using any cell phone, tablet, etc. while operating a motor vehicle or crossing a public thoroughfare as a pedestrian. Period! No exceptions, no county to county variances, etc. No more “please take the no text pledge” while it’s alright to yak nonstop while driving. This will save lives and it should be given a try immediately! If you think this is too radical, try that conversation with any mother who has had their child killed while driving a car while on a cell phone.

I am guessing that these two modest proposals will not have much support from our benevolent national, state and local governments. After all, folks like ATT put an awful lot of dough in the pockets of our politicians and local bureaucrats. But maybe, just maybe if these same politicos spent the same amount of effort for our collective well being as they do with their own thumbs, something good could come to us all. I hope so. The time has certainly arrived to do something. Our society and lives are in the balance.

These are some of my thoughts on the subject of cells phones. What are yours? I’d like to hear them.

Read author Allen E. Rizzi’s latest books available at Amazon.com

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2 Comments
  1. davide300zx permalink

    I’m with you 1000% on this one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Like

  2. Anche in Italia, sempre il telefonino è in mano sulla strada – basta!

    Like

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