Phones sure are ‘ubiquitous’ machines

Published 8:57 pm Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The word “ubiquitous” might not be one you know. It’s one of those words that I would see in a column that I would be reading and I would have to look it up in the dictionary. Or should I say “wiktionary” since hardback, book dictionaries are so 20th century.

“Ubiquitous” (yoo-bik-kwi-tuhs) means everywhere. As in cell phones!
Donna Sue and I were eating at a restaurant in Albany recently and happened to look around at all our neighboring tables. Most of them had someone playing a game on, checking for messages, or texting on their smartphones. The same scene was replayed at Panera’s in Tallahassee.

At that table, there were two mothers with three kids. The three kids were either early or mid-teens. They were laughing and having a good time, but each had their cell phones out and looking at them, showing the others what they were doing on them. The two mothers were paying no attention and doing something so primitive. They were talking to each other!

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As they say about “the pot calling the kettle black,” I am just as guilty and that surprises me. I mean, I did not get my cell phone so that I could always be talking on it, but it has crept into my life; no, that’s not exactly true. It has stormed into my life and I find myself getting in my car and reaching for my cell phone so that I can call someone even as I am backing out of the drive.

I was even officiating a funeral one day and had forgotten to turn my cell phone off. Right in the middle of the eulogy the ringtone of my phone, “Glory to Old Georgia,” suddenly began playing. Needless to say, it was not a good moment.

I’m not the only one, though, that seems to be dependent on the phone.
Our president was criticized this week (Surprise! Surprise!) about his trip to New York City and the United Nations assembly. He was going to speak to the general assembly, but did not have the time to have an actual face-to-face meeting with any of our foreign friends, whoever they might be.

Not to worry, his staff said. “The president can always talk with them by phone.” I guess we are going to begin conducting foreign policy by text messaging.

“Bebe, I no ur wrrd re: nearby nukes. No prob. BHO”

Translation: “Prime Minister Netanyahu, I can imagine you are worried about Iran’s most recent provocations and progress toward nuclear weapons. Don’t worry. I have texted President Ahmadinejad and he has promised to get back with me as soon as he has finished playing his recent download, Wipeout. I think that is a new Smartphone game. Take care!”

What’s next? I text you a Merry Christmas?