The scarlet shame of having the wrong cell phone

(CBS News) For the past month, I've been preparing to moderate Monday night's debate by studying up on foreign policy.

And it's just reminded me how dangerous the world is in which we live.

In the midst of all that, I ran across a front page story in The New York Times about the shame a Los Angeles woman is feeling because she has a Blackberry phone and all her friends have iPhones.

She's SO ashamed, she told the Times, she no longer takes her Blackberry out at cocktail parties - personally I think that's a good thing - and she says she hides her Blackberry behind her iPad at business conferences for fear her clients will see it and judge her.

Other Blackberry owners told the Times they, too, suffer shame and humiliation as they watch their friends noodle on social networks unavailable to them.

This is not a commercial for any phone. For the record I have a Blackberry, but I still read paper newspapers, so maybe I don't count.

But here's the part I wonder about: If the Americans who headed West in covered wagons had cellphones, do you suppose they were embarrassed by the brand they owned? I doubt it.

My guess is they had to worry about finding something to eat before dark, and whether there were Indians hiding close by.

The more I thought that, the more I realized I really had no words to comfort those who feel the world is closing in on them because they have the wrong phone.

Maybe they could just take deep breaths or something.

  • Bob Schieffer On Twitter»

    Bob Schieffer is CBS News' chief Washington correspondent and anchor of Face the Nation.

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