So I had a fight with my girlfriend, Kate.  It was a stupid argument that consisted of us both acting foolish (possibly more so on my part) that was entirely over the phone.  I was drinking in a bar, she called me on my cell phone, I stepped out to answer it, we had the fight, and the weekend was ruined.  And I know exactly who to blame for all this hurt and anguish: cell phones.

Maybe it’s my recent bandwagon obsession with the TV show Madmen, but I’ve been overcome with the need to examine a slew of everyday 21st century modern conveniences that we all take for granted in the lens of “How did they used to do this?”  For example, I goof off at work by aimlessly surfing the Internet, but before computers and such dalliances were accomplished via drinking in the middle of the day and sexual harassment (at least that’s what I figure according to AMC’s version of history). And when I examine my most recent spat with Kate, I realize that it wouldn’t have happened before the proliferation of mobile phones. Twenty years ago, the only way Kate would have been able to call me was via my home or office number (yes, theoretically I could have had a Zach Morris phone, but come on—I’m not made of money) and since I would not have been home (or at the office) to answer she would have simply left a message on my answering machine (remember those?).  I’d call her back the next day and the entire fight would have been avoided.

I’m also positive that if you were to graph the frequency of drunk dialing from Alexander Graham Bell on, the line would shoot up after the introduction of cellular telephones.  There’s just something appealing about making a call when you’re stumbling home from the subway.  Hence, the slurring message I left on what I thought was Kate’s voice mail later that night about how she “broke my heart” and “I was going to live on a mountain, away from all women.”  So now my cousin (whose number is for some reason right next to Kate’s in my cell phone’s address book) thinks I’m harboring a secret crush that drives me to drink.  Thanksgiving is going to be awesome.

It just seems that with everyone carrying around these means for instant connection, we’re quicker to reach out, respond, and react to one another, which I’m not sure is such a good idea.  In getting closer, we’ve sacrificed the small bits of space in between that allows us to take a step back and calm down for a second.

That being said, if it wasn’t for my cell phone I wouldn’t have gotten the text message of “I love you” from Kate yesterday, nor would I have been able to respond with an “I love you too.”

[Pic via .au]