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Failure to detonate: Was it a dropped call?
I don't know that we'll ever know the answer to that question, but in the meantime consider the deepening dependency the cell phone creates in its users, law-abiding or otherwise, as Lenore Skenazy does here:
Cell phones turn adults into babies, constantly needing contact with their spouses, friends, children. In fact, it's possible that children in a cell-connected world make out worst of all. This morning, not five minutes after I'd left for work, my 11-year-old called from the kitchen to ask if he could have banana bread for breakfast.
Kid – I'm not there. Eat ice cream and marshmallows. Make a vodka smoothie. Go wild or be a good boy, just pretend it's 1990 and I'm unreachable. With all of us connected all the time — "Mom, I'm on the bus," "Mom, I'm two blocks from home" — independence never gets a foothold.
Young adults fare no better. I have a friend whose daughter went shopping for her first college formal and sent her mom — 1,000 miles away — a photo of each dress as she tried it on.
Grow up! Buy a dress by yourself! And while we're at it, learn to make plans, too.
"I go to concerts all the time and my network of friends, they just don't know what to do when they confront somebody without a cell," a 27-year-old holdout, Briee Della Rocca, said. "They say, ‘Call me when you get to the parking lot and we'll meet up somewhere.' I say, ‘I don't have a cell phone. Let's plan in advance'—and the record stops. It's almost like they don't even consider that this is a potential option: To plan ahead."
Cell phones also allow their users to be late ("Almost there!") and opportunistic.
"Just this weekend, I'd met a woman at a party and I was just starting to talk when she got a phone call from a friend," comic Ian Coburn said. "The friend said, ‘Oh, those guys that Patty wanted us to meet are at that bar right now!'" And off she went to the other bar.
Rudeness and cell phones go together like blue-tooth and terminal hipness, which is just another reason many holdouts refuse to buy in. They don't want to be the one shouting "I said I'M IN A RESTAURANT" in a restaurant.