A Phone at Her Fingers and Tablet by Toes, She Shall Have TV Wherever She Goes…

Like most people, I’m seriously disappointed in the lack of hovercraft technology in the 21st century.   This new world we’re living in seems to be an amalgam of sci-fi, dystopia and The Jetsons.  Some of it beneficial; some of it not-so-much; but really, technology is neither good nor bad, it just is…it is how we use it that ultimately provides us with a judgment of its status.

Flying cars seemed to be the one thing that almost every futuristic book/movie/TV show promised.  We got the shaft on that one.  Instead we got TV.  All the time.  Everywhere.  Any place where people have to stand in line, wait in chairs, be in a moving vehicle, or exercise in a containment area, it seems there has to be a TV. I feel like I’m stuck in an Orwellian nightmare.  It drives me batty.  And now on phones and watches – TV.  I used to really enjoy a day off of work for jury duty and didn’t mind a long wait at the DMV – it gave me a perfect excuse for reading uninterrupted for long periods of time or just sitting and people watching. But now, I have to find a quiet space that is not dominated by a gigantic TV set (don’t even get me started with what’s actually on the TV) or populated with people talking LOUDLY into cellphones or a Bluetooth or watching something on their phones with a loud volume.  Why must we be entertained with TV ALL THE TIME? Why can we not just simply sit and think? I know reading is also entertainment – but it’s self-contained. I’m not reading aloud to everyone else and forcing them to be exposed to what I am interested in…so why should I have to be forced to watch Fox News, CNN or whatever other crap is out there?  WHY?????

I haven’t been inside a gym in years – recently at a hotel, I decided to use their gym facility instead of taking a gander outside because it was so early and NOW not only do they have the general TVs up on the walls but the equipment itself ALSO sports a TV.  Everywhere I turn – a f*cking TV.   What is the point of having a TV everywhere? Are we fearful of being within our own minds? Are we afraid of what might happen if we are not constantly stimulated with visual input? I’m not saying TV doesn’t have its place in our culture – what I’m saying is why does it have to be so invasive in my life OUTSIDE OF MY HOME?  That is my objection. I cannot get away from it.  I think of it as second-hand Television.  It’s probably just as dangerous as second-hand smoke it just manifests its damage in a different part of my being.

I will fully admit I feel pretty much the same way about cell phones as I do about TV.  I could rant for hours about them – but I won’t because most everything has been said.  And people still are glued to their phones all the time.  My only wish is that they didn’t work in cars – they are deadly accidents waiting to happen.  I have lived for this long without needing a phone constantly by my side; I hope I can continue to survive (or have I now jinxed myself?).  I do like them for emergency situations – that I won’t deny. But I don’t need to have TV, email and/or Facebook access when I’m driving a car. Ever.

Of course there’s a Bowie song for my rant…

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About Rutabaga the Mercenary Researcher

I'm a research librarian for Public Television, story teller, bike commuter, baker, music fiend, lover of reading & books, mother, wife, friend - and many more descriptive adjectives and nouns.
This entry was posted in Aversions, Bowie, Driving, Humor, Philosophy, Random Thoughts, Reading, Society and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

81 Responses to A Phone at Her Fingers and Tablet by Toes, She Shall Have TV Wherever She Goes…

  1. Yatin says:

    Technology addiction is reaching the level of insanity.
    Well and I keep on exploring ways to not even rely on my car!! 🙂

    • RIGHT? I love bike commuting, myself – and you don’t need a phone or internet access at all during your ride!

      I’m waiting for the pendulum swing of technology to start going towards the middle – as I’m pretty sure that cell phones are here to stay (boo)…so the best we can hope for is that they become less invasive as time moves forward.

  2. MissFourEyes says:

    TVs vs phones, I dislike phones more. But then, phones are like TVs now so there’s that.

  3. I do really like TV, but as a choice – when I choose to watch it, and what I choose to watch, in fact most of my “TV” watching is probably on Netflix where I’m choosing to watch a run of a series or something. I don’t think we have as much TV everywhere here in UK as you do, but we’re getting there! I’m not much one for talking on the phone anyway, but certainly not loudly in public places!

  4. I watch about an hour of tv a week. maybe. Sure, that makes me sound like some grand guru of bohemian existence. But I am in front of my computer a lot, reading, writing and certainly jumping on youtube…which is really my version of TV. So I sit in front of lots of screen. Phone isn’t too bad. I have an old Black Berry, so it’s not condusive to anything other than you know, phone calls. And texts. And Twitter. Ooops, did you just see that? I got caught in a spiral going downward, sucking me into it, my justications and rationalizations getting more convoluted – my face sucks up screen time as much as anyone that I can condemn. Hypocritical, for sure.

    I am learning to detach. I don’t ask for the screen at the dentist now. I turn off what I can. I turn my phone off a little bit more. And frankly, I find that that more silence I get, the better I am focused, more alert, more in tune with what’s around me. How nuts is that??? How dare I? lol. I feared the thoughts within, now peeking the toe in more and more and seeing that its’ not so bad. Silence is becoming more and more my friend.

    Now excuse me, I just have to tweet about this silence thing…

    Paul

    • This comment made me giggle and it’s only 5:55AM…

      Silence is sometimes nice – and it’s scary for a lot people. What goes on in our heads can be something that we want to avoid like the plague but I think the struggle to get there is worth it in the end 🙂

      I mentioned in a couple of comments that think our being disconnected with our phones makes us somewhat anxious b/c we are of the mindset that something bad might happen during that disconnected time and we’d miss it…and i think that’s a social pressure that we all feel in one way or another. But I think we’ll be fine b/c we were before cell phones…

  5. JackieP says:

    I watch about 3 hours of tv a week. Otherwise, I would have it off if I could, but someone here loves to have it going for 24/7! Ugh. As for phones I always thought it was rude to talk on the phone in front of someone too, plus I’m a very private person, I don’t want someone listening in on my conversations even if they are dull. Cell phones are evil. They are! They take over your soul and suck the life out of you. I have an old cell phone, nothing smart about it, but only carry it in winter when I drive in case something happens. I don’t relish freezing to death. So I love your rant! I was nodding my head yes through out reading it. 🙂

    • I almost never have the TV on if it’s just me – but my family LOVES TV…I’m the odd-man-out on that one!

      Ha! Love your take on cell phones…and my cell phone is also not ‘smart’ – it is just a phone…I don’t even text! Thank you for understanding my rant 🙂

  6. Kylie says:

    Wait. How is it possible for you to be so active on social media without a smartphone? Can’t compute.

    Also–I LOVE this post and completely agree!!! Secondhand TV is a brilliant term. Was it Brave New World where the people lived in houses with wall-sized movie screens surrounding them?

  7. stephrogers says:

    I hate people. They generally irritate me. If I don’t have my face buried in my phone I may have to make eye contact, talk to someone, or worse still put up with someone in my personal space.

  8. I AM SO WITH YOU ON THIS. I cannot bear joining the ranks of commuters who stand silently on trains peering into their phones, so I ALWAYS make a point of looking out of the window LIKE WE USED TO.
    However, I am actually genuinely disappointed at the 21st century’s lack of attention to hovercraft technology, because we were PROMISED hovercrafts by TV years ago.

  9. I was in the dentist’s chair having root canal. He had a TV overhead so I could watch BBC News. The report I remember most vividly was about dysentery in Africa. Not my happiest moments.

  10. Carrie Rubin says:

    I don’t like it when hotel gyms have TVs in them. I like to listen to my own music, but the volume on the TV is so loud, it makes things difficult. When I look around, it doesn’t even seem that many people are watching it. Everyone has their own headset in. If I’m in there by myself, I always turn it off. Doesn’t seem to bother anyone who comes after me.

  11. cseavey says:

    TV- the great conversation killer. I probably watch more than I should, but like Rutabaga the seeming necessity of having the blasted things *everywhere, all the time* makes me crazy. One of the reasons I will never willingly fly through DFW again is the incredible noise level- a combination of multiple tvs and the PA system blasting mostly horrible music. Talk about sensory overload! Any restaurant with tvs festooned all over the place is right out. Etc etc etc, rant, rave…

  12. Calamity Rae says:

    The whole cell phone thing is really just about fueling the individual’s self-importance. It’s pretty gross, when one steps back and thinks about it. But that doesn’t happen because the television is always on.

    • Yes, I think you’re on to something; about being important and begin noticed. I still find it somewhat embarrassing (for myself) to talk in public on a cell phone. I still excuse myself to stand in corner if I have to use a phone. But I am not a phone person – I still have a phone connected to my wall connected with a cord. No call waiting, no caller ID (well, my message machine is manual caller ID in that the caller has to self identify after the beep) … I don’t even want to answer my phone 🙂

      • Calamity Rae says:

        Yes. I never use my phone in front of people. It’s rude. My husband is the same. We excuse ourselves. Plus, the whole cell phone thing is just a tool to navigate through the waters of social media where self-importance is the driving force behind it all. I’m not a phone person either. I’m an awkward phone talker because I like those natural silences that happen in face to face conversations.

        • Yup…Skype scares the bejeebus out me too (I can see it being great for people separated thru circumstances beyond their control) – but even more awkward than talking on the phone is talking on the phone and being looked at… AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH…

  13. Oooooh David Bowie! I have to play that when there’s a chance. There’s another song “Telephone” – Lady Gaga and Beyonce, but it’s really good. I HATE the TVs everywhere too! Doctor’s offices, gyms, restaurants (I about smacked my husband because he kept looking at the TV instead of me). And it is always, always tuned to FOX NEWS. Why, why, why??? Especially in the doctor’s office. How is any news good when you’re already sick? Arghhhh.

  14. I agree, Denise. Silence and just general quiet is hard to come by these days. In fact, in public places, I think it’s impossible. There always seems to be this need to take in information, even if it’s garbage. I’m with you, it’s hard to read a book anywhere. I’m guilty of taking my phone everywhere for just in case, and when I have it, I look at it. Once in a while, I leave without it, and I survive fine!

    • I think we feel that we are ever on the brink of some disaster that needs attention. It makes me anxious when I feel I NEED my phone on – like I’m waiting for the proverbial shoe to drop.

      Silence is nice – and as an extrovert I’m saying that…

      Good point about always needing to take in information even if it’s garbage.

      I don’t know if it’s guilty – as opposed to feeling like it’s necessary. Now I’m worried I sound really judgmental of cell phones – whereas I’m more frustrated with this need to constantly be infotained.

  15. Robin says:

    So true about TV. I have no problem with reading material, in a paper magazine or on a tablet. I love to read interesting stuff. But in a gym? That drives me crazy to see TVs on the machines when I travel. And the endless talking heads on CNN or whatever news source is on. Or HG TV (My mother ALWAYS has this one in her house) The other thing that’s weird to me is that people just have TV on in their house all the time when they aren’t watching it. Ours comes on at about 9pm or 10pm, to watch a certain show or 2, then goes off. Nowadays we have to really learn the art of “tuning out” in public, and that’s a shame. Thanks for your interesting post!

    • I do love reading -I’m probably biased about it 🙂

      I remember seeing my husband with the TV on, no volume – music playing and he was reading a book. He must be a mastermind at segmenting all that out – I put in earplugs so I can read if the TV is on and someone is watching.

      TV in a gym is weird weird weird to me –

  16. Karen says:

    I’m guilty of being connected to a device a lot of the time and I totally get what you’re saying. We’re a society that can’t sit in silence or have a real conversation anymore. I went to a doctor’s office recently that was lost in a time warp – not only was there not a TV in the waiting room, the magazines were several years old and the receptionist had a typewriter. It reminded me that we had lives before cell phones and gadgets. I could do without the wood paneling on the walls but the doctor was awesome despite having to write a prescription on a real piece of paper. I bet he can even write in cursive. Now I’m just sounding old. 🙂

  17. The Cutter says:

    Sorry, I was reading this and got distracted by something on TV. But I assume it was great.

  18. NotAPunkRocker says:

    Between all of my thoughts and just generally not wanting to be social, I lose myself in my phone all the time. Not everyone takes the hint but it helps enough.

    Now, I do know not to do that for jury duty or what have you, but DMV? That is what Twitter and Candy Crush were invented for.

  19. RFL says:

    I feel this way about TV a lot too. It is everywhere you go, and I get annoyed even in my own house. We have one in almost every room with the exception of my office. The internet and cell phones are constant too. Books are my happy place for entertainment. Overstimulation everywhere!!!!

  20. El Guapo says:

    I’m with you on wondering about the ubiquity of technology. I remember when I first had to carry a pager for work. And how many times I had to replace it out of carelessness because it was almost too fragile.
    I believe kids today refer to people of our generation who feel the way you do as “old”…

  21. Twindaddy says:

    Sometimes, yes, I’m afraid to be stuck in my mind with my thoughts.

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