Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The electronic leash

I hate my cell phone.

I don’t like the feeling that I can be tracked down at any time, anywhere. Sometimes I feel like the damn thing is like one of those electronic surveillance devices they slap around your ankle when you’re under house arrest.

But I don’t know how I got along without one. It makes my job so much easier. Journalism is about 80 percent phone calls, and I don’t have to be chained to a desk to make them. My cell phone makes me more productive.

Come January, I’ll have to get a hands-free device to use it in the truck. Oregon, like other states is trying to crack down on cell phone distractions while driving. This may be a cosmetic effort. There’s evidence that it’s the talking itself that is the big distraction, not holding the phone (though dropping your cell phone in the car prompts an almost instinctive move to grab it instead of paying attention to the road. That’s a crash waiting to happen).

Somehow I doubt that the new Oregon law will be stringently enforced, which makes it kind of moot. The urge to use the phone is too strong unless the consequences are huge.

Maybe they should be, especially for texting while driving. In Britain, texting while driving is a serious crime and if you hurt somebody, you will go to prison. It’s treated more or less like drunk driving.

Cell phones are here to stay until they are supplanted by some more sophisticated technology. That means we’ll have to put up with people yakking on their phone in the grocery line and other annoyances.

Texting habits will cnt 2 dstry wrtn eng lng LOL.

But maybe it’s a good idea to make the roads communications free zones. At least ban texting and  enforce the ban with strict penalties. Nobody can argue that texting while driving isn’t a big public safety concern (can they?).

As for cell phone use, I try to be good about that, but I’m probably bad as everybody else. After all, I have a GOOD REASON to be using the phone in the car.

I’ll do the hands free thing in January, though I’d rather take that damn thing (and yours, too) and chuck it out the truck window at 80 mph.

Wait. That’s illegal.

Jim Cornelius, Editor


  1. Jim, since nobody has jumped in the "Blog" recently, I thought I might change the direction of your latest post to bring up the fact that it seem "really hard" to get new cell tower sited in Sisters. I have an iphone now and have had AT&T service for years but due to the fact I have to roam on the other "Central Oregon providers towers", my service sucks. I have seen the towers (fake pine tree looking ones) that have been proposed and for the life of me I don't really know what the issue is ? Was it first the Lazy Z that had a hard time with a tower at the sewage plant ? I have no idea where that went but now its someone out by Aspen Lakes !! I guess I might be just different, I never really had a hard time with McDonalds, albeit I have never been inside.

  2. Hate to break it to your iPhone user, but the AT&T service sucks no matter where you are. Apple will be dumping AT&T within the year and most likley go with Verizon which has excellent service here and all across the country. I am making my daughter hold off on getting an iPhone until they are done with AT&T.

  3. Jim ...

    A subject near and dear to me. As one literally living the road, my iPhone is a survival tool that I rely on. Yes, as a captive AT&T customer because of it I also suffer the lack of coverage to the point they installed a off network alert because of internet usage. Unlimited internet only pertains to within network usage. I travel border to border and water to water. They know I am not happy. Jim, your blog and Tom Russel's are the only blogs I follow. I enjoy seeing this side of you. I have not been to Oregon since last
    December during the winter nightmare. I missed a Eugene load by one day this summer that would have got me through Sisters. I look forward to meeting you, but I will probably be a disappointment to you. I'll chance it. Always
    enjoy your comments at Tom's place and your concise comments make me feel abusive, but it is just one among my many fatal flaws. It's road medicine for me. Well, enough of this off subject rattling. As a parting shot; I feel
    like I am working for my phone instead of the obverse.
    Until we meet ...

    saddle tramp

    Via: Crook, CO listening to The Crosses of San Carlos
    I drive on ...

  4. Hey ST! Good to hear from you. See you when you get here.