Thursday, April 12, 2007

Would you please turn that thing off?

Kim the Kanadienne writes about people who relate (?) to other people with one I-Pod bud in their ear. She's right, of course, and I think she's handled I-Pods and what they communicate just fine. I'll pile on, and add a pastoral perspective.

Cell phones. I could go on and on about this, and you could as well. Cell phones are a great invention and a great tool, but some people... yikes.

I saw three ladies walking together. Two were talking on their cell phones. Were they talking to each other? About the third?

I saw an older guy riding a bike. He had a cigarette in one hand, a cell phone in another. How did he bike?

More and more, when I see stupid, thoughtless and/or unsafe driving on the freeway, the driver is talking on his/her cell phone. And usually driving a white car, but that's another subject (of which the title would be White Car Drivers: Worst In The World).

It's a particular pet peeve in theaters. My oldest son (Matthew) and I have often been driven nuts by people who accept, and persist in cell phone calls during movies. When they flash the "Please Silence Your Cell Phone" screens before the movie, Matt and I applaud loudly. He'll often say, very loudly, "DAD, DID YOU PUT YOUR CELL ON 'SILENT'?" And I'll loudly say, "HERE, LET ME CHECK," and hold the cell above my head, and silence it.

One recent movie: it's the very dramatic, heartwrenching climax. Some idiot gets a call, AND TAKES IT.

I have often leaned across to such people and said, "Don't you just hate it when the White House keeps bugging you?"

How can these calls be that important? Good heavens, if you knew you'd be called in to brain surgery, don't go to a movie!

I understand parents going to movies, leaving baby sitters, and setting their phones on vibrate. Then you see the call, and you leave the theater, and take it. There are other people in the world, right? At least that's what I hear.

Cell phones, I-Pods... these can all be ways of communicating to the people around you that, to you, they don't exist. Or they're inconsequential. Not very Matthew 7:12 behavior.

Pastoral addendum. So here's a pastoral pet peeve. No, I'll just phrase it as a command:

When the pastor comes over, turn your darned TV off!

For that matter, when anyone comes over, turn the darned TV off.

"So, if you died and stood before God, and He asked you, 'Why should I let you into my Heaven,' what would you say?"

"Oh. Wow. Well, I guess I'd -- oh, wait. It's the Daily Double!"


Leaving your TV or your radio on when someone is there to see you tacitly says, "I'm pretty sure you're not interesting enough to keep my brain functional, so I need this going in the background, mmkay?"

No, not really "mmkay."

Turn it off, put it down, pull it out of your ear. Be there for and with the people who are there for and with you.


candy said...

Whew! At least I drove a BLUE truck through Sacto last week. I'm pretty sure I was on my cell phone though...probably complaining to my husband that Sacto was already really hot (I never seem to have good air-conditioning in my vehicle).

Kim said...

When we were in the airport in Chicago, I saw a guy with a cellphone that used an earpiece. He was talking on his cellphone, smoking and running through the airport with his briefcase in his hand, talking on the while.

I get in a lot of trouble because I never have my cell phone on. I only have one in case I have car trouble, or really need to be able to communicate with the kids.

4given said...

I saw three ladies walking together. Two were talking on their cell phones. Were they talking to each other? About the third?

Hilarious indeed!!!

When I see someone swerving on the rode I tend to think they are either drunk or talking on a cell phone. Scary. One time I looked over and saw a women putting on mascara while she was driving. Why???? So that when she runs into someone and/or kills herself, she'll save money on the mortician beautician's prep for her burial. (And there really is such a thing as a mortician beautician)

Ginny Teague said...

Whenever my husband or I see someone with one of those earpiece adapters for their cellphones, we refer to them as "cyborgs". We as a society have become so dependent upon technology that it's starting to invade our bodies. Resistance is futile. We will add your uniqueness to our own...

ann said...

Interesting - only females commenting ;).

I do not drive white car, mine is green. and my cell phone is hands-free in the car. There!
Dan, absolutely right, TVs on while having guests is the same as telling the guests:'get out'.

Ginny Teague said...

Click here to read a research paper on "hands free" cell phone usage that found it doesn't matter if your cell is "hands free". You still end up driving-impaired. Sorry Ann. :[

Beth said...

saw a guy (white car?) driving with a cell phone in one hand and a map in the other--no hands on the wheel.

Connie said...

Yes--turn OFF the t.v. Our's isn't on all that much so it's rarely a problem.

And yes, anytime I see someone driving strangely or unusually slow I instantly assume they are talking/dialing on a cell phone. Nine times out of ten I'm right! Ahem, I drive a white mini van, does that count?

From the very "get go" we did not allow our girls to use their CD player headphones (we don't have any ipods) to tune us or anyone else out. When we're traveling together somewhere they have to ask first--we ARE a family you know and traveling IS supposed to be "family" time! :-)

Sheeeew, I feel better now! :-)

Diane said...

You hit on a pet peeve of mine. One thing you didn't mention were those who talk on cell phones in the library, and also those who receive calls while there. They're supposed to turn the phones off.

This doesn't have anything to do with cell phones, but with the library. Children are no longer being taught that we WHISPER inside the library. They aren't being taught since the parents talk loudly too.

candy said...

I was at an ACSI teacher's convention (in Sacto) and thought it ironic that cell phones were ringing all over the auditorium during a time that a major speaker was giving a presentation. These same teachers would never put up with that in their own classrooms!

P.D. Nelson said...

I guess its just location, as cell phone users are pretty polite over here. Course the last person who left one on in a movie in this town was tarred and feathered and rode out on a rail. I think he was Californian.

4given said...

I think he was Californian.


Okay, so I don't know all those fancy initials. :-/

DJP said...

ConnieAhem, I drive a white mini van, does that count?

A white... mini van.

Oh, dear.

DJP said...

This one particularly seemed to strike a note with the sisters.

I'm just surprised that more pastors didn't pile on!


ann said...

You are right, it is never good to talk while driving, because your attention gets divided - and I avoid that; in fact, if you could see my phone bills, you would understand that (average bill is $5 a month. But my phone is in a special holder, and I do not even have to be "wired" to it - I just talk into the air to a mike above me - when I do...

Just wanted to clarify :)

candy said...

P.D. we blame everything on the Californians.

mikepettengill said...

No really this happened…I was in NYC attending a Broadway musical and someone’s cell phone rang….and they took the call…but, here is the best part, they said in a very loud and annoyed voice, “Hello…Hi…Why are you calling me?....I’m watching a Broadway show, I can’t talk…ok, I’ll call you later.”

Rosesandtea said...

Good post.

Over here in Britain it's illegal to use the phone while driving but people still do.

I agree about turning the TV off when visitors come, but I also think that if I drop in on someone unannounced, it's a bit rude of me, too, so if I do I ask if they're busy. And if they are engrossed in a movie, you know, they may have waited for a long time for it to come on so who am I to say turn it off? If they had gone out to watch the same movie no one would think of insisting they visit with them right then.

Oh, except for those people on the mobile phones....

DJP said...

Well yes, Rose, I agree generally. But then again, I think it bad manners to drop in unannounced.

LeeC said...

What kills me is I go to work often at 5:30 am and STILL 3 out of every five drivers seem to be talking.

What could you be talking about and who to at 5 am???? I'm sorry NO ONE has that much to say, nor can it be that important.

So, you unless I missed it you did not mention the worst to me....during a worship service. I tell you the truth in that whenever a cell phone rings during our service I gaurantee you it is at the height of a very important point like the Gospel. It is also a great way to be extemporaneously used as a sermon illustration. ;D

David said...

I certainly share the frustration expressed above.... BUT we must not miss the heart of the issue, which is that hrist came to save sinners -- maybe even a few who are too busy yapping on their cell phones right now to notice.

Why do people do these sorts of inconsiderate things? Either they're not saved -- if so, we should pray for their salvation (and remember that but by the grace of God, there go we) -- or they're saved but not fully sanctified. The latter may at times merit a loving rebuke, but only with the recognition that an underlying sin issue may be driving their outward behavior.

Whenever we encounter annoying behavior of any kind, we must remind ourselves to consider our brother more important than ourselves and to do all things without complaining. If we don't, we risk communicating to a lost world or a weaker brother that our own personal comfort and convenience is of primary importance to us.