Convenience trumps ettiquite

More than 91 percent of Americans over the age 18 own cell phones, and 78 percent of persons age 12 to 17 also own cell phones. For the American lifestyle of fast-paced living, this would be a convenience in the eyes of most. Being able to contact anyone from anywhere, whether in text form or even a phone call, all persons are just a button away. This is what the American people strive for: convenience, speed and efficiency.

Out of the 78 percent of youth who own a phone, 38 percent of them own smartphones. Smartphones are considered to be any device that combines a cell phone with a hand-held computer that allows for Internet access, email capability and Wi-Fi connections. Overall, they allow users to access information at any time in any location. This was the thought when they were first invented. They were made to make life easier.

Unfortunately there is a downside to the convenience of the cell phone. Everywhere we go, we see people texting and talking on cell phones; it’s really gotten out of hand. Law enforcement has even had to place restrictions against it in some areas because it has become such a distraction.

For those who grew up in the times before such technology was invented, when the gadgets we have now were merely dreams and subjects of science fiction, people never thought they would have phones that detached from the wall, let alone have the ability to fit in one’s pocket and access a vast compilation of information.

Many things about cell phones are good and useful, but something that has been lost is a sense of etiquette. There are people talking on cell phones and jabbering about their social life for the entire world to hear while they are in line at HEB; they don’t care how distracting it is or how loud they are at all. People come into stores texting and only half paying attention while they are shopping. Not only is it rude to the person trying to help them, but to the customers who are not receiving the help they need.

More and more distractions are caused by cell phones. Students who text in class get mad when teachers ask them to put their phone away. Many teachers at the high school level have taken cell phones up because students were texting or checking their Facebook. Students then get mad and ask why the teacher took up the phone in the first place.

Cell phones keep students from having their minds fully engaged in whatever is being presented. Some students either don’t realize or just don’t care that when they are texting; they are not only distracted themselves, but they are distracting the person(s) on the receiving end of the message.

In some states, there are laws that prohibit texting while driving. People are having accidents because they are texting and talking on their cell phone.

Another thing that has caused quite a problem in the United States is not just the invention of cell phone but the invention of Smartphones. With the ability to be on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media outlets, people are connecting less and less in person.

While social networking can be beneficial in many ways, it can also cause people to alienate others because of what they “posted” or “tweeted”. There have been fights, divorces and breakups caused by what others have put on the Internet for the world to see.

We’ve watched people sit at the table in silence in a restaurant, not because they don’t know each other but because they are all on their cell phones talking to other people.

Dinner used to mean a time when families came together at the end of the day. Families have become alienated from each other because they are too worried about what party is “going down” and who is in a relationship with whom.

Texting, cell phones and social media are all examples of technology that was meant to draw people together and help make things in life convenient; they are also some of the key elements that are causing families to be alienated from one another and relationships to be put to the test.

Technology isn’t all bad, but maybe it isn’t all good either.

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