As a seafarer a mobile phone is brilliant in all aspects. Especially since I have been working in the Offshore Industry where we may only be in port for a couple of hours and where the shore (land) phone is miles away or inaccessible in the time given. When we spend days at anchor unable to get ashore I have this wonderful mobile phone. I have even connected it up to my laptop so that I may sit in my cabin and send/receive Emails at my leisure in any country in the world at ant time near land. Fantastic is it not?
Unfortunately over the last few years mobile phones have been driving me crazy. The noise of them, beeping and tooting and playing Christmas carols at any time of the day. Listening to all the endless people saying things like "I�mam on a bus now.......yes the no21........no, it�s a red one....." or "hold on I�mam just going through a tunnel". Grrrrrr, they really get my goat up. Don't take me wrong, I honestly understand why people say these things as it is usually the caller that is asking the pertinent questions, BUT DO WE ALL HAVE TO KNOW?
You go for a quiet drink in a bar and all you hear are endless and mindless tunes, causing every person to scramble in their pocket. You get on a train and there they are again, the departure lounges of airports are filled with them, all desperate to tell their secretaries that they are just about to board the flight. I always had this fantasy of interrupting airport callers by marching into a departure lounge wheeling this extra large land phone on a cart whilst stretching an extension cord out behind me. With its extra large ring I would answer it and proceed to shout out my location and future plans down the mouth piece. I realize that this sounds rather pathetic but I am desperate to try and wake people up to the stupidity and annoyance that mobile phones produce on others.
You see all these advertisements extolling the benefits of a mobile phone. "Keep in touch wherever you are" or "talk on the move". Oh gee whiz man! Get a grip on it all. Can we not be missed for five minutes, can we not be silent for a little time, whilst we travel on a bus? It seems not to be as the market place is forever introducing greater inventions to keep everyone in contact whilst they move around - the WAP or whatever they call it these days being a recent comer onto the scene. Send and receive emails whilst you shift yourself from the office to the toilet! Check the latest stock prices whilst you wipe your bottom, and book that holiday whilst you flush! Is all this so necessary? Is it so important that for every minute of every day we have to keep in contact? Let me ask the question in another way, "how did we all survive before mobile phones came on the market"?
Mobile phones are now a fashion item. Especially for young teenagers who are definitely not hip if they do not have one. Well, they are also not hip if they have an old model as well. Persons who are nervous use mobile phones to occupy themselves or to state to every one else that they are okay because they have one. Bored people play games on them, fashionable people carry them in the correct case and mindless people just listen to the beeps as they play with the buttons. I have seen people in Singapore pressing the ring test button then pretending to have a conversation with themselves and people spend hours discussing each others mobile phones.
In Singapore people actually walk along the street talking to a phone with nobody at the other end. In the Philippines couples go out to a restaurant and just text each other across the table. People use phones as an excuse to leave, as an excuse not to talk and as an excuse to snub others. You get the phone ringing in a cinema and the user speaking in a hushed whisper for ages thinking nobody has noticed!
We sit there in buses listening to rubbish being sprouted out, in pubs and restaurants as each user tries to outdo the last in the amount of bullshit that he can give. Those that shout "sell, you've got to sell now" obviously have a very serious problem more so than those that say "yes, we must fire him tomorrow" or "let us buy that house we always wanted".
Mobile phones do have a great place in society. They allow us to communicate when in difficult situations or when no other phone is handy. As I said previoulsy they are great for a seaman whose access to normal phones is minimal.
Typically my phone remains off, a messaging service conveniently taking care of those who wish to contact me urgently. If I need to use that phone I will remove myself from the surrounding public, switch it on and make the call whilst disturbing nobody else in the process. If for example I am required to take that phone out with me it will normally remain switched off inside my rucksack. If for some reason I have to leave it switched on then I will place it on vibration mode and hidden in my back pocket. Thus disturbing no-one (except myself) when it rings. Then upon it vibrating I will wait until a convenient moment or remove myself to a quiet spot before answering or calling back.
Yet we have to suffer the loud voices shouting total unimportant nonsense down these phones everywhere we go. To the ringing of their phones in that painful variety of tunes that mindlessly drives all around up the wall and there seems to be no end to it.
Car drivers! I thought that it was illegal to use mobile phones whilst driving. But what do we see on the market? Hands free equipment, endless gadgets and toys for those that wish to talk whilst they drive!!! There is no escape. I was recently involved in an accident with this other car. He was busy talking on his "hands free" phone and weaving madly across the motorway.
Well, I have seen some signs of improvement in the UK with signs appearing on buses similar to that of no-smoking signs. A mobile phone with a cross through it. Yippee. When this extends to restaurants, trains, shops and department stores I will be over the moon.
Text messaging has hit allot of countries and none more so than the Philippines. This one girl drove me up the wall with her endless text messaging. My fault really as I bought her the phone in the first place: one of those Nokia's that make you buy endless and costly covers for no apparant or useful reason at all. But regardless of my hatred of it, she used that phone non-stop for text messaging her pals. Everywhere we went, along would come that mobile phone emitting beeps and baas at frequent intervals. And then she would respond with a frantic movement of her thumb as she processed one back to the originating beepers. I tried to determine what was actually said in these texts messages but the language formed was too complicated for me. I also tried to determine who was frequently wasting their time texting back only to find it was someone or something called a text-pal. Someone that she had never met but who had become a text-pal! No, I should just keep my mouth closed and not ask stupid questions. We often sat there in a nice restaurant after having had the usual argument:
"Please do not take your phone out this time. I want to enjoy a nice meal and talk with you"
Everything would start well, a nice serving and a cozy atmosphere, until a little beep would emit from her handbag or her back pocket and that was that. Conversation would stop dead and her thumb would be flying across that keypad ten to the dozen. I tried it once, tried to text a long message (to myself), but my thumb started to ache so badly that I gave up after the first word.
To advertise mobile phones through texting is outrageous. Telling us that text messaging is so cheap and easy to use is a lie. Not easy on the thumb and expensive as far as I am concerned because if 'texting' was not available then no money would be spent. People may even go and talk to others face to face, instead of sitting annoying others with endless beeping sounds.
I recently read in the paper that text messaging has been used for an alternative way to get divorced. "A Dubai court recently accepted a text message as a written declaration of divorce" was how the article put it. Under Islamic law, a man who wants a separation must declare "I divorce you" three times, and then attend an Islamic court to apply for a divorce within seven days. They actually had a week long debate about this in Singapore and came up with the conclusion that this should not be allowed (thank you) but for it to have got so far makes one shudder. A similar thing did happen to me though with this one girl. We had been quite a serious item (yeah, one with no laughter) and I had gone to work in Malaysia. I was content in life, happy in my work and looking forward to seeing my girlfriend again in a few weeks. Well, she called me up on Christmas Evening and after a few pleasantries she came out with this statement:
"it is not working".
Well, I shook my phone a bit not having a clue as to what she was talking about and said "no, mine is okay, and I can hear you perfectly". Och, open your eyes. Her next statement clarified all for me....
"No, not the phone.......US. We are not working"
Which was double talk for I have met another man, but we will not get into that. What I am more shocked about is that phones can be used for such purposes. It is revolting and sad that people can not stand up to their responsibilities and to not be cowards. To stand up and show that person that the relationship had meaning - not by using the phone and escaping from it all.
The Muslim authorities I mentioned before made the situation clear as per the following statement:
"......texting has brought about negative effects that can tarnish the image of Islam and the sanctity of the marriage institution itself....."
I�mam sure it does more than that but that is what the clerics result was.
I have ten rules that mobile phone users should follow. The Ten Commandments are as follows:
1. Thou shall switch your phone off inside of public transport vehicles unless you are the only passenger.
2. Thou shall not talk on a mobile phone within ten meters of people that you do not know and preferably not in front of those that you do.
3. If you go out for dinner with friends thou shall switch the infernal machine off and leave it like that throughout.
4. If you have dinner with your lover thou shall not even take your phone with you.
5. Thou shall not switch on the text alert beep outside of your own house.
6. Thou shall not use phones in shops or department stores even if you want to find out what color of socks your husband prefers.
7. Do not use your phone whilst driving - never ever.
8. If you are required to use your phone thou shall find a secluded area and a quiet one so that you don't�thave to shout.
9. Upon encountering others abusing these commandments thou shall enlighten them in their ways (e.g., smash their phone to the ground and jump up and down on it) without resort to physical violence.
10. If you feel the need to use your phone in a public place thou shall donate ten thousand pounds to a charity of your choice in way of punishment.
Or something to that effect. It would just be so much better should people respect others privacy. It would be so much better if people returned to a proper lifestyle and took their minds and fingers away from the mobile phone. But that is life and what ever comes next it can only get worse.
I have stated before that I once had in my possession three mobile phones. I have also been caught with five different SIM cards under my name. I have also purchased mobile phones for some members of my family. Regardless, I honestly state that they were all for my benefit and at no time did I abuse others with my phone conversations or with any sounds from the phones. I was once sitting on a bus in Edinburgh and was pleased to see a negative reaction from other passengers when my phone rang. Look, I forgot to switch it off okay! Anyway, when my phone rang some people turned round to glare at me and I to fend off any embarrassment turned around and looked behind me whilst quickly switching my phone off. Ha the poor man behind me got all the blame!!
NO MOBILE PHONES IN PUBLIC.......that is all I have to say.