You may be wondering what
"Electrodysfunctionality Disorder" is. We'll get to that later. Early
analog cell phones could only place and receive phone calls and do nothing
more. That was their intended function which they did fairly well. Sure,
there were areas without service or cell providers. Providers strived
to out-brag each other about the number of regions in which they provided
cell service at THIRTY CENTS a MINUTE for ingoing or outgoing calls. If
your phone was called but you didn't answer it? You were still charged
by the minute. Bragging about service area coverage still goes on 30 years
later, despite cell towers almost everywhere you look.
Analog cell phones had one advantage - when a signal became weak
the call could continue, even if it had some noise in it. With digital
phones we have today, the call is simply disconnected.
Soon more advanced cell phones came out. These phones had simple,
useless office-type functions and very simple video games. It was an attempt
to get you hooked and at the same time, an effort by the cell industry
to get people to run out and buy a new phone. It's quite possible at some
point that the cell phone industry will force everyone to throw their
phones away if it cannot handle 4G signals, just like analog cell phones
were forced into the trash when all analog cell signals ceased several
Today, you see endless numbers of people endlessly working their
thumbs tirelessly in an effort to give themselves carpal tunnel syndrome.
Thumbing away, sending pointless text or voice to someone at the other
end who probably could care less about what they have to say. People do
not realize that apps exist for one main purpose - to keep you obsessed
with your phone and to increase your hollow love affair with it.
There was a woman we saw go into a grocery store several years ago.
It looked as though her non-bluetooth phone was attached to her ear. I
swear she could have let go of the phone and it would have dangled from
her ear. Into the grocery store she went. Then came her on-going narrative,
"I just entered the store." Moments later, "I'm in the peanut butter aisle
now" followed by "What brand do you want? .... What size?" On and on she
went giving a blow-by-blow narrative, not realizing that:
1. Yelling into her phone won't help her weakened signal go further
2. Her loud voice annoys everyone around her like fingernails on
3. How stupid she looked and sounded
She was yet another slave to her phone and probably didn't even
Where I work is one floor underground. There is no cell signals
there and I'm glad of it. Who wants to hear someone's corny ring-tone
blasting out? Yet despite no cell service, people stand around in halls
fiddling with their phones. Unbelievable how addictive this electronic
device can become. And I used to think video games people played on televisions
at home were addictive!
Some readers might remember the fun we had as children with walkie-talkies
(2 way toy CB radios.) These were a coveted Christmas or birthday gift.
These radios went through old zinc-carbon batteries like crazy. Despite
the fact that alkaline batteries were almost unknown and very expensive
back then, we would delight in seeing how far away from each other we
could walk yet still hear each other. This was years before truckers started
using illegal linear amplifiers to talk to other truckers out-of-state,
drowning out all the toy radios.
Today, married adults sit in the same room, texting to each other
instead of talking face to face. Just like two children who turned on
their walkie-talkies for the first time in their living room after putting
batteries in their new radios 40 years ago.
Did some of today's adults ever grow up? How long can such a marriage
last? Perhaps some day, smart phone addicts like this will be diagnosed
with "Electrodysfunctionality disorder." We can be sure that some drug
company will come along with a pill for that, too.
Human beings MUST have face to face communication and socializing
for normal relationships not to just exist, but to blossom. There are
subtle body language signs we give each other while talking and listening
which are a very important part of the conversation. When texting or chatting
is done on-line, you really have no idea who you're talking to or who
they are. Important, subtle language signals are missing. In the back
of your mind you may or may not consider that this distant stranger could
be a stalker, thief, rapist, child molester or serial killer. So you used
live video chat? So what! Anyone can play the part of someone else.
Few people realize that most crimes which are solved, are only solved
if they were committed by a friend of relative. A police detective told
me this years ago. Police crime solving is not like how it is in televisions
or the movies.
When a stranger commits a crime, the criminal is long gone before
authorities have any idea where to look, if they ever. Often it takes
more than one murder or rape to figure out who the criminal is. But that
never brings anyone back to life or restores virginity. Meeting someone
in person you met on the web, in a restaurant for dinner, could be your
last supper. There are no public statistics on how many times something
like this has happened. It could number in the thousands or far more.
People tend to justify foolish actions by lying to themselves that violent
crimes "only happen to the other guy, not to me." You can sure that's
exactly what the victims of crimes thought, too.
Social networking sites only give you a tiny fraction of an idea
who someone really is or how they think. People only be the best characteristics
of their personalities online. Their darker side will remain hidden as
long as possible, perhaps until it's too late.
All of this may sound like obvious facts, but how many people really
consider their own safety? Police never prevent crimes. Police only show
up after a crime has occurred, after it is too late to stop it.
In my profession I design, construct and program cutting edge electronic
instrumentation of many different kinds. Designs are done from scratch
and used by researchers around the world, and have worked in nearly every
area of electronics. Yet despite a lifetime of doing this kind of work,
I know that all electronics have a certain place in our lives. Any addiction
is dangerous, whether it be chemical or electronic.
There is nothing more important than our relationships with family
members, relatives and friends. No electronic device of any kind can sustain
or create normal, well maintained relationships. To think one can do that
electronically is to believe it can be done while stripping out the human
equation of meeting face to face. This is just as bad as someone who is
their own lawyer for handling a legal problem - they have a fool for a
Do you know what the number one reason is to make people buy a new
cell phone? Is it new features? No. Dead battery that can't be replaced?
No. It's dropping their phone into a toilet. Maybe that's exactly where
"smart" phones should be so people can get on with their lives.