Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Things Have Changed

































Text and Photo Copyright 2009, Seattle Daily Photo. All rights reserved, including reproduction and republishing.
. . . as Mr. Dylan's song points out. At least in modern courtship and outdoor activities, things have changed quite a bit. I watched this couple take a lunchtime walk together along the beach looking out over Puget Sound, but neither of them was present to the beauty of the scene or the moment with each other. I wonder how many sociologists are studying the effect of cell phone use upon everyday life, relationships, and customs. Am I the only one who still feels a little weird when someone next to me at the market is seemingly talking to themselves, when in actuality they are wearing a phone headset and asking their roommate if 2% or whole milk is on grocery list. There is a common walking posture now that one didn't see a just a few years ago:  one forearm extended, palm up holding phone, head bent down. Watch and see how many people assume this posture the moment they emerge from a building or a meeting room. It is fascinating. People with each other and talking, but not to each other. 

20 comments:

Bibi said...

So, so true. I see people all the time at cafes engrossed in conversation with someone on the other end of a cell phone, but not with the person across the table. Often both are on the phone. I also find it spooky to see someone 'talking to himself' with a headset. Also, why in the heck is it that people are quite often so LOUD on cell phones???

brattcat said...

Isn't it romantic!!!??? This is crazy. I agree with you and with Bibi. I also find it unnerving when someone is walking toward me talking on a headset. At first I thought the rate of madness in our town was accelerating alarmingly. And how many times have I almost been hit crossing the street as the driver, oblivious of how close he/she has come to running someone over, continues on, totally engaged in their cell phone conversation.

Kate said...

Yup, the times they are a-changin'! Surrounded by all that beauty and those two are seemingly oblivious. I adore new technology in its many different forms, but there is a time and place for everything. I am equally provoked when I see drivers using their cell phones as they tool along the street or highway. There outta be laws!!

Small City Scenes said...

Great observation, Kim....and so true. Wow! I find it weird to see and hear people just walking along talking, seemingly, to themselves. Where are the little men in white coats. LOL MB

Anonymous said...

Great shot, and so true. One of the reasons we rarely take our phones with us--and certainly not when we're out to eat. I find cell phone use so annoying and people's inconsideration of those around them even more so.

Virginia said...

I have been known to break in to an occasional rant over this very topic. I commented on someone's blog the other day that the next generation wiil all be born with their heads bent unable to lift them to enjoy what's around them. I see folks doing this on the beautiful walking trail where I go ev ery day. I think it's appalling. Thanks for the photo!
V
PS I feel better now!

Hilda said...

Oh goodness! I hate that, I absolutely hate that. Here, it's texting, not so much phone calls. I've seen families in restaurants and they're all texting and no one's talking to each other. Have I mentioned how much I hate that? :(

Wayne said...

Usually I can bite my tongue but I've been known to tell loud louts on cellphones to 'put a sock in it' or something equally to the point.

The thing that surprises me is that there seems to be a strong consensus that cell users can be rude but we still put up with them.

One thing that I find especially bizarre is the person who can hold the phone clamped between their ear and their shoulder. My neck doesn't even bend that way.

Good shot Kim.

Chuck Pefley said...

Oh SO TRUE! I personally find cellphone use in public quite annoying. I've heard far too many one-sided conversations on our busses, not to mention walking along the sidewalks of our city. People used to be given medication when they were observed talking to themselves -:)

Kim, check out my Thursday (4/9/09) post ... giving a nod to your scooter photo request.

I do hope spring does an encore in the not distant future.

metric152 said...

I've noticed this quite a bit, but I'm also guilty of it. Someone almost walked into me the other day because I was playing with my phone.

We I go out to dinner with my fiancée I have a policy of no phones at the table.

Maya said...

You are not alone! That posture observation is very interesting. I hadn't thought of it, but you are completely right! Funny.

Coşkun said...

Hello Kim,
Your photos and writings are great.
Same problems are growing in my country Turkey. I think too much expend for everything.
We have to need simplicity in our life. Life is too complex for us and we are responsible for this bad situation.

Virginia said...

Kim, I just emailed you a photo that I snapped yester day that reminded me of yours! Actually it wasn't hard to find, they're everywhere. Oh don't get me started again! ha
V

Tash said...

LOL - very humorous. And the SCENERY - superb.
Actually, they are sort of old-fashioned or of an older generation - the younger ones ONLY text! :)
My other thought was that they could be talking to EACH OTHER...

JohnPainter said...

The whole cell-phone culture is sickening to me, personally. I have managed to avoid compliance to it, for the most part, thus far. When people find out I don't have a cell phone, they always look at me like I just told them I was mildly retarded!! When I try to make plans with people, they always say, "call me to confirm", to which my response is, "then, why make plans?" Does anyone remember a few years ago, when people who didn't keep appointments were considered rude and anti-social? Now, it's EXPECTED that, at any moment, all appointments can be re-scheduled. What I'm waiting for is the spike in head tumors that is sure to be happening in the next 5-10 years. It's bound to be a public health crisis, but the good news is it will probably have its worst effect on the most rude and obnoxious people. Oh yeah, did I also mention that I have actually had friends "break up" with me because I refused to get a cell phone?

m_m said...

Beautiful calm photo! I like the view on mountains:)

Kim said...

Wow, guys! I guess there are some pretty strong feelings about public use of these little wonders (:-} poor Hilda!) And you were right to observe that these two are tres old school. . .texting defines the posture I'm observing as common place, that and checking for messages.

And Tash, I wondered that, too, but they weren't talking to each other. The guy hung up and put his phone in his pocket while she continued talking.

Technological changes have happened pretty rapidly and culture is adapting (or maladapting as Coskun observes in Turkey).

And John, I get your personal choice to avoid the change to cellular, but brain tumors have actually been on the rise for the last 30 years and took out my partner recently, who didn't rely on them any more than you do, neither was he rude, obnoxious or in any way deserving of a tumor, so that part of your argument may be fallacious. :-{

V. Thanks, I will look for the email photo!
-Kim

JohnPainter said...

Kim,

I am very sorry about your loss. I had no idea.

My grandmother also died of a brain tumor, and she never used a cell phone in her life. My comment was more of an expression of personal angst than a curse on all cell phone users. As for the pseudo-scientific hypothesis about what long term side-effects may be for heavy cell phone users, that wasn't my idea, but rather a re-iteration of theories that have been suggested since the technology was first implemented.

I know that no attempt on my part to clarify my meaning even begins to address what you must have experienced with the loss of your partner. And, I am truly sorry for that. I imagine my comment must have appeared quite callous and idiotic, given the circumstances.

John

Marie-Noyale said...

I am always amazed at the scenery you have got in Seattle between the snowy picks and the sea...
What a shame not to look!
I bet the same scenery would be on a computer screen they would say WOAAAHH

Forrest said...

What a nice photo, and it seems like I'm too late to be the first to comment on the gorgeous scenery! Is this Golden Gardens? As bleak as the winters here can feel, I love the sight of the Olympic peaks, flanked with snow. Assuming this is GG, I take my kayak out near here, to enjoy the view, and the waves.

Some of the comments are ... interesting. I have to admit, I'm a little surprised at how much contempt people feel at seeing other people use cell phones. The couple (?) in your photo appear to be missing the point, but that's no skin of anybody else's nose. To each his or her own? It just seems like there's a lot more hostility than there ought to be toward phones, or people who get addicted to them.