Cell phone mania [Archives:2002/08/Focus]

February 18 2002

Hassan Al-Haifi
Ahmed looked at his friend Abdul Rahman when, from his shirt pocket, his tiny cell phone rang with a high-pitched Polynesian parrot whistle. He answered:
Hello! Yes of course I am going to Ali’s third wedding. I just dont know when that guy is ever going to settle down with any of those women he keeps marrying. His marriages last an average of two year. No, you buy the qat and we will meet at the wedding hall. I have to do something for our general manager. Thanks. Bye.
Abdul pushed a button on his cell phone and closed the receiver with a clamp, and said to Ahmed: These cell phones are a great convenience.
Ahmed replied: They are more of a nuisance than a convenience. In fact, I find them to be a social illness and a source of noise pollution beyond description. Any time you are at a meeting, the meeting has to drag on for three times the required time, because at any one moment during the meeting, if you have seven people meeting, three of them will be walking back and forth whispering into their phones. The other four are waiting for their phones to chirp, whistle or tweet. Don’t laugh! In fact, I know one guy who has a cell phone that burped. You can imagine what visitor’s from out of the country thought when they heard that phone burp.
Its so bad that the publishers of Webster’s Dictionary might as well take silence and quiet out of the dictionary. They might as well be non-existent thanks to these crazy instruments of the digital age.
Abdul spoke up in defense of modern communications: But Ahmed, cell phones now put the world right in your pocket and at your finger tips whenever you want to reach any part of it.
I have enough trouble with the world around me, and you want me to reach out for the whole world! complained Abdul Rahman.
Ahmed replied: Just think about it, you will soon be able to run a business from the bathroom.
Abdul had an easy time replying: The only thing I want running while I am in the bathroom is my . and the water in the plumbing!
Ahmed wouldnt give up. Just think, you can enjoy the voice you want to hear anytime and at any place.
Abdul Rahman could not care the least: I just think there is a right time and a right place for everything. Cell phones tend to mix up functions and could even disrupt the smooth operation of dangerous jobs. How many close calls have I seen along the road, because of people chattering into their cell phones, while driving?
So, what do you want to do then, ban them all together?
That would probably be impossible, answered Abdul, adding, but there has to be some ethical code on usage and practices. Otherwise we are going to have a confused, if not a dazed world. Just look at the street scene from here. You find more people talking to cell phones than to other people. In fact look at those two walking together and talking to their cell phones. I bet you ten to one that they are talking to each other through their phones!
Ahmed finally asked his friend: Why don’t you have a cell phone?
Abdul replied: On top of all I have said, I also have a tendency to loose any movable assets. I can’t remember how many expensive pens, lighters and even watches I have lost. Chances are that a cell phone would not last in my pockets for two days, especially when considering how much I find them annoying!