Saturday, November 1, 2008
Are Your "Friends" Just "Contacts"?
Mysterious contacts and friends who are they? Weekly I’m inundated with requests for my friendship. I accept because I figure we all need friends’ right? As I scroll my cell phone’s address book and MySpace page, I realize that I don’t even remember most of these people. One day I decided on a brave course of action. I would do a little housecleaning. I conducted a rigorous litmus test and concluded that the fate of nearly 60 “contacts” in my cell phone alone called for deletion. Sixty is a lot when you consider I almost went blind typing their crucial information in those tiny spaces. Companies woo us with special ring tones, wallpapers, and themes so that everything is ‘”personalized “. If you must hear Michael Jackson belt out a barely audible version of “Beat It” when Tonya calls it is going to cost you $2.99 plus tax. Consider this; if you are at least 35 don’t you already have this entire album on wax anyway? So after your jaw drops from the absurdity of what you spent just to hear your cell phone ring, take a trip up to the attic. I’ll bet my future grandkids “Thriller” and the rest of your Michael Jackson memorabilia is entombed in dust that could rival the Middle East.
I looked at my cell phone bill one day and I felt like a sucker. I bought ringtones and had even assigned them to contacts who never called. I knew I had hit bottom when I would use my home phone to dial my cell phone to just to hear the ring tone. The first sign whether you should delete people from your cell phone is to determine whether you actually talk to them. Are the conversations meaningful or are they as generic as a cheap prescription from Canada? The cell phone “contact” debacle is similar to what happens on MySpace or any other social networking site. You are so proud of your baby! Your profile is impressive with its engrossing pictorial slideshow and carefully designed layout. No one can dispute your popularity because you have 9123 friends. If you or I dared to be honest admitting to only knowing 20 would be a major coup.
Do you feel important because you are “friends’ with celebrities who may only contact you with a mass bulletin when a new album, movie, or clothing line debuts? At 5:45am are you comforted when the backlight from your phone can be seen by other drivers? This notion that we are “important” because of the quantity of our friends and not the quality is baffling indeed. We want people to notice how “connected” we are so we are constantly talking, texting, and adding “contacts”. Are they really friends?
What are your thoughts?