A young professional's take on the trials and tribulations of everyday life in New York City.
By Nina Pajak
I am a cell phone addict. I can admit it. And after holding out for as long as possible, I finally got a BlackBerry (don't even talk to me about Smartphones, please), and am now addicted to all the conveniences that offers. Like having my coworkers and bosses at fingertip's length no matter where I am or what time it is. Why, that is super convenient.
I am pretty sure there was a time in our lives when we could walk more than two blocks without our fingers itching for our phones. When one party arriving at a destination did not determine the length of the conversation. When personal silence wasn't something I valued or dreaded – it just was. So much so that I actually wrote an ill-conceived editorial for my high school newspaper decrying cell phones, lamenting the havoc they would inevitably wreak on our lives and interpersonal relationships, and predicting that "they would never catch on!" Er.
At least I'm not alone in my bad habit, though that's not necessarily for the greater good. I walk outside my midtown office and the streets are filled with people babbling away like mental patients, some loud, some laughing, some yelling and fuming, all reeling around the sidewalks like a bunch of drunk drivers. And speaking of those, I hope they're paying attention. Because we're all as good as target practice now, charging across the street like Mr. Magoo after a sixer of Stag beer (his brew of choice).
I've tried to control and test myself, take walks without reaching for my cell. I think my record is ten blocks before I crack. Is this the worst thing in the world? No. It's certainly better that most of us don't have to get behind the wheel of a car. A careless pedestrian is totally annoying, but nothing compared to the alternative.
I haven't even touched on the whole worry over whether these phones are going to fry our brain cells versus how incredibly fatuous earpieces and headsets make us look. That is just a lose-lose situation.
On the bright side to all this, at least we're chattier than ever! And who doesn't like a chatty group? Nobody, that's who. Chatty people are fun. So fun! I've gotta go, I'll call you on my way to the bathroom, okay? Okay.
Dear Readers: While I am rarely at a loss for words, I'm always grateful for column ideas. Please feel free to e-mail me your suggestions.
Nina Pajak is a writer and publishing professional living with her husband on the Upper West Side.
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