Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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02/26/2008: "Go to your cell!"

One thing I hate about cell phones is that you can't even tell for sure anymore who the lunatics are. I was standing next to this tall, "eccentric" looking guy in the hallway of the University this afternoon and he was mumbling loudly about something while waving his arms around...and I had no idea if he had a Bluetooth and was just excited about tomorrow night's Project Runway or if he was a homicidal maniac.

People with ear buds or headphones for their cell phones should be required to wear a sign that says "I'm not dangerous, I'm just talking on my cell phone". Of course, if they're driving, then they really are dangerous.

By the way, coincidentally I helped a student this afternoon who was researching the dangers of cell phone radiation. There were several studies linking them to cancer and other illnesses, but one article I found (from a scholarly journal) actually linked them to male infertility!

Does anyone remember that Keanu Reeves movie Johnny Mnemonic where everyone in the future is plagued by some central nervous system disease called "The Black Shakes".

(from Wikipedia) "Neural Attenuation Syndrome (NAS) is a fictional disease in the film...NAS, also called "the black shakes", is caused by an overexposure to electromagnetic radiation from omnipresent technological devices, and is presented as a raging epidemic affecting the world in the future."

That movie came out 13 years ago and seemed pretty far fetched at the time. We just got a new wireless router this weekend and around 10 other signals are usually present whenever we go to connect. Our entire campus has been a hot spot for at least 6 or 7 years. I can't help that but I can at least hold out against getting a cell phone.

Addendum: What's the most personal thing you've ever overheard someone say in a public place on their cell phone?

Replies: 5 Comments

on Wednesday, February 27th, Jim L said

Aahh...the bluetooth zombies. When I run into them, I always think that I've stumbled into a video game - you know, the kind of games where there are civilians milling about but they haven't been programmed to notice you.

What I would like to do, but haven't yet, is to follow them around with a notebook and transcribe their conversation. They shouldn't mind should they? I mean, it's not like they notice anybody's around? :)

on Wednesday, February 27th, Elise said

I love that visual, "civilians milling about but not programmed to notice you"

It's terrible in the library. We have big "TURN OFF YOUR CELL PHONE" signs everywhere but there are still the students who'll take calls in a crowded public space and proceed to talk at normal volumn about how wasted they got the night before and how they hope they didn't get genital herpes...eeeew!!! Don't they know we can hear everything!!!

I think the transcription idea is hilarious.

on Wednesday, February 27th, Elise said

btw, I loved the idea of cell phones turning people into actual zombies and was totally going to steal that idea for a movie plot, but then I remembered recently seeing a trailer for "The Signal"...from

"A horror which a mysterious transmission invades every cell phone, radio and TV, turning people into killers."


on Thursday, February 28th, Phillip said

I refuse to use one. Cellphones are like leases. Back when I was a boy you could avoid people you wanted to avoid. Now if you don't call back within 12 hours they ring you incessantly to you pick up.

on Thursday, February 28th, Phillip said

I meant "leash" not lease!