Cell phones: Here to stay?

By Keith

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love my DynaTAC 8000X from Motorola. Even though it only takes me about 10 hours to recharge, which work outs nicely with my sleep schedule, I get an astounding 30 minutes of talk time every time I recharge my cell phone all the way. While you may think this new innovation is only the be- ginning of a modern phenomenon, if you have a phone in your home, office and car, why would you need to carry this brick around in your backpack or briefcase all the time? Besides not being able to make calls in every town or when traveling off the beaten path, the cell phone really only provides enough time for two or three decent phone calls each time you charge it. To make matters even worse, my Dy- naTAC doesn’t work when I’m eating in the recently redone Phelps Hall. I have to wait until I am back in Cosmopolitan hall to check whether or not the AV club will be meeting at lunch tomorrow.

Instead of my cell phone being a tool to communicate with people when I am not near a land-line, it has become annoy- ing to carry around and is essentially dead weight when I forget to put it in the charger overnight. To add insult to injury, I am not even the one making calls off of the phone on a regular basis. My friends and classmates ask to borrow it for a “quick call home” and drain the entire battery talking to their weird girlfriend who goes to Calvin College and is not even cute. In- stead of bringing me closer to people I am not in contact with on a day-to-day basis, my phone has curtailed my contact with those closest to me. Additionally, I am constantly nervous that someone will call me during class, especially in Dr. Bell’s ancient history class since he despises the new technology.

While my cell phone affords me the ability to communicate when out of the car, office, dorm and sight of a pay phone, I am constantly beleaguered by having to unclip my phone from my belt or find it in my backpack. Unfortunately, my mother obtained my cell phone’s number. Now, instead of only being able to reach me when I “happen” to be in my dorm room, day and night, in class or in Phelps, my mother can call me anytime. For this reason alone, cellphones will never catch on with younger generations. If we are avail- able at all hours of the day for our parents to ask how our day is going, what we are up to this weekend or when we are com- ing home next, cell phones will be of no use to students simply due to the lack of battery they will have from the constant parent phone calls. Although I cherish my mom’s morning, noon and night phone calls, I would not mind eating a meal without having my phone ringing off the hook.

Besides being disconnected from those around me, nervous in history class and tired of lugging around a 1.75 pound brick of a phone, the DynaTAC 8000X is pretty innovative. It displays the number of calls you both make and receive, allows you to store up to 30 phone numbers (of which I use all thirty) and allows you to change the volume so that you can control who hears your conversations. Even with all of these fantastic innovations, I find myself regretting the fact that I spent just under $4,000 on a phone that I can use outside.

Some days, I wish I had simply taken the money I spent on the DynaTAC 8000X and asked for change instead of the phone. That way, I would be able to make far more calls at one of the millions of payphone booths that are everywhere. The cell phone fad will come and go, just like the personal computer fad that will never get off the ground. Like a cell phone, there is no need for a computer when you can access one at work or school when- ever you need one. I have notebooks for taking notes and can use my typewriter whenever I need to prepare a formal essay. What good would a personal computer be when I already have sufficient methods of writing things down. Adding to that, the recent departure of Steve Jobs from the preeminent personal computer company Apple makes me think that this fad will come to a sudden end, regardless of what the newspaper advertisements say.

Cell phones are not here to stay. With the number of payphones in Dewitt, and with phones in every dorm, cell phones will never be a necessity for college kids. This sentiment is even stronger at Hope College due to the amazing community we have. Why would I need to call my friend when I will see them at chapel in the morning, Phelps for lunch and in the basement of my dorm at night? The fad of the cell phone will come to a close when people realize that being available twenty-four seven is not something you should pay for, but rather be paid for.

*This is part of The Ranchor issue of The Anchor, which is a satire edition of our student newspaper. None of this article is meant to be taken as fact.*

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