So here's someone who has "social norm tensions" around gadgets and cell phones.

John C. Dvorak
Cell Phone Hegemony - PC Magazine

Let me walk you through my tale of woe. First, picture this gathering: New York Times reporter John Markoff, San Jose Mercury News columnist Dan Gilmore (sic), Andrew Orlowsi from The Register, author Gregg Pascal Zachary, blogger/investor Joi Ito, lyricist/pundit John Perry Barlow, and me. Everyone there had some relationship to the computer scene, and we were about to have dinner at a pseudo-swanky San Francisco eatery. Each reveler was political, opinionated, and outspoken. What transpired made my flesh crawl. Everyone, with the exception of me, like beings possessed, pulled out one, two, or maybe three cell phones, and while collectively drooling, began the macho 21st century showdown game of "who has the coolest cell phone?" It was horrible. I left, nauseated and shaken after witnessing this cult-like phone-features feeding frenzy. When I was a kid, we talked about football.

Since this dinner was officially "off the record" I didn't blog much about it, but you can imagine it how it could have been a rather awkward dinner. It was part of my "round up the journalists" dinner that we occasionally organize. It's amazing how gadget talk seems to bond most geeks (except for Dvorak) regardless of what they think of blogs or techno-utopias. We kicked off the evening with cell phone talk and had a great time.
John C. Dvorak
I've complained previously about idiots on cell phones in public, but I've given up.
[...]
Cell phones now rule the world's collective unconscious in untold ways. What astonishes me about all this is the sociology that has crept up on us. Why do we have this incessant need to chat on cell phones all day long all of a sudden?
I do agree that different countries seem to have different manners, the Finns seem to have some of the best manners. Maybe it's because American learn to talk on their cell phones when they are in cars... but you're right. Many Americans tend to shout into their phones.

But Dvorak... Why are you freaking out about cell phones man? Why don't you freak out instead about why American's can't seem to figure out how to use them or make them. ;-p

13 Comments

hehe - very funny Joi...

maybe this is the first sign that a geek (Dvorak) is having trouble keeping up with technology... i.e. getting old, a bit past it, out of touch so to speak; the twentyfirst century equivalent of not being able to program the vcr... :D

only kidding. without reading very much about Dvorak's opinions about mobile usage, I'm sure that his reluctance to play gadget-trumps is entirely about personal choice and nothing to do with it being too 'tech' for him...

hihihi
having fun heh?

J - I think we need to come up with a term for betraying an "off the record" event and turning it to one's own self-aggrandizing advantage as an "on the record" news item -- something it seems bloggers are OFTEN accused of doing, dragging our integrity in the mud, when in fact I keep noticing traditional journalists doing it TO bloggers. Not cool. Weren't they the folks who invented the term "off the record" or did I miss something?

I know you and I both experience a lot of events we respectfully avoid blogging about and make sure to keep "off the blog" I almost always ask by email prior to blogging someone if it's okay to mention them.

Don't mean to sound holier-than-them, but honestly ...

H

When will the geeks start talking about the health effects of cellphones? Maybe in 10/20 years?Hope Not!
Have dumped my cellphone and am much the happier for it, easier to focus on the simple essentials of life:)
Prof. Leif G. Salford's Cellphone Health Effects Research

Cellphones are rarely just phones these days, so complaining about people talking on them seems a bit dated...

I guess this dinner inspired lots of rants. LOL. ;->

I gave up on cellphones too. Too much of my consciousness was off-sight and I needed to get some back. Since I couldn't give up Web, I gave up on the cellphone.

Well, it the "off the record" was sort of directed at blogging, but I consider the stuff Dvorak writes online, blogging. ;-)

Dvorak rants and eats a lot of dinners. I'm not sure whether this our dinner was particularly rant inspiriting, but it was fun.

Health effects... hmm... why don't we start with the health effects of drinking and smoking. ;-p

Joi, suggest you send Dvorak a copy of "Smart Mobs" for XMAS!

Good idea Jay. ;-)

I like something I can take to the ocean.
Cool Yellow Submarine Motorola-Nextel

Allow me to be blunt: There is one and only one reason why America (and North America in general) is behind on cell phone culture (and technology):

CDMA

whats the new motorola music phone go for?

Bill

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