Monday, February 22, 2010

The World is Smurshed

The following situations are in-your-face real events that occurred to me. No I am not making them up and they may not be suitable for those that have severe stomach cramps.

Situation #1 As I am having an intense, profound conversation with a fellow colleague of mine, so intense that that I am almost sure we were on to solving world hunger, even though we were just talking about the terrible parking in some areas. The pocket of my colleague buzzes and before I can say half-stack of blueberry pancakes, I am stuck in the back seat with the child lock on. That’s right I am suddenly interrupted, put on hold for someone in who-knows-where land in need of information obviously of less importance than the current situation at hand but still, I am muted.

Situation #2 This time I am alone, inside an elevator, shooting up for a top floor. I am studying the designs in the carpet when suddenly the elevator stops, the door swings open and a fellow human being enters. I get ready for an acknowledgement but instead his head goes down, reaches for his phone and starts playing with it. Obviously the all-hail-mankind human salute I was expecting was more important than what he was staring at—but still, I am set to ignore.

Situation #3 A few days ago I observed an older couple having a nice meal at a restaurant when suddenly the husband’s cell phone rings. He answers the phone and talks with the other person on the line for about a half hour. The wife is shunned.
I know with the high amount of cell phones that dot the earth I am not the only one that has experienced such situations. Many others have suffered such traumatic instances, many most likely far worse than my own. You have been shunned from an ancient basic communication device that has existed longer than the can of tuna fish sitting in your pantry, which is simply just the moving lips, making eye contact, nodding, smiling and the fluttering of eyelashes— just to be shunned by someone talking to someone on a device that has only existed for twenty years.

What is happening here is what I like to call, grass-always-better-on-the-other-side-of-the-fence itus. It’s infectious and it has spread quickly all over the world. The first signs occurred around the late 19th century when storytelling Indians would be abruptly cut off from the climax of “Running Horse and his pet turtle” for an abrupt smoke signal suddenly brewing in the east. Since then, it has gained speed and has hit us with such an exponential force in the past ten years that scientists have been too tired to calculate the rate of its spreading (Probably because they are always talking on their cell phones) hence, I cannot not give the rate of its spreading.

People, tall and large, attached ear lobes and non-attached earlobes feel the sting. Innocent people, going out of their way to make contact with a tangible human being are getting the shun. The effect of this virus goes much deeper than having hurt feelings when getting cut off in the middle of telling your Grandma’s secret applesauce cookie recipe.

You see, with the increase of portable devices that allow people to communicate with others from distant lands cut off vital communication skills that have longed helped mankind from tearing their hair out, stripping off their clothes and spending the rest of their days swinging through the trees and eating termites with close primate relatives (although a few cases have been reported in the past which are still under investigation.)

With that said, observing that most people feel that someone else in a far distant area requires more attention than the people currently in their presence; I declare that the world is becoming smurshed. That’s right, smurshed. Let me explain. When two people communicate there is a connection between the individuals. When someone is always talking to another individual outside their eyeball range (we will call them blabbers) they are connected to the person they are talking to but the connection they have with those in eyeball range is weakened (we will call them the shunned). The blabbers find their strongest relationship or strongest need to communicate with people he or she cannot physically see, thus creating the smurshing effect. With the more ease there is to communication devices the more the world is becoming smurshed.

Why is the smurshing effect a problem that needs to be addressed? This smurshing effect is taking away ancient forms of communication that many argue strengthens the inner self, personal relationships and makes playing a game of hide-and-go seek so worthwhile. The moving lips, making eye contact, nodding, smiling and fluttering of eyelashes stirs and strengthens the bond ship between two individuals. When a blabber is focused on communicating with those they cannot tangibly see they are cutting off these ancient, vital, social needs. When the shunned are shunned, they too get the second hand smoke of the blabber.

The scary part of all of this is when a blabber connects with another person that in turn makes that person a blabber, instantly spreading this disease to any land that has cellar service. If the trend of this smurshing effect continues, I see most people ripping out their hair, stripping down, flying through trees and eating termites with their fellow primates by the year 2020. On the other side of the coin, I see all conversation between individuals cut down to just the fingers and eyes. In the future a mother will stay in bed and simply text her son what that he needs to get up to go to school. Yes, a smurshed world is frightening.

Why is it that blabbers always feel the need to chat with some bloke out fishing in the Pacific instead of telling one of their co-workers he’s dunking his doughnut in lighter fluid is an interesting question. I have two theories.

The first theory: Pride, power and world domination! Or maybe just pride. Blabbers feel important when they are talking to someone else that the shunned cannot see or talk to themselves. They could be talking to the prince of Saudi Arabia for all they know and blabbers know that. Many exhort as much emotion as possible to show they are having a good time talking with that person on the phone instead of doing what everyone else around them is doing even if it’s pulling out a few good blue darts. This pride theory can be contagious; humans can sometimes act like sheep. I know this because I once accidently walked into the Women’s restroom and five guys were right behind me. When a shunner sees a blabber they too want to be blabbing instead of shunned thus adding another blabber into the cycle.

The second theory: Security. Blabbers feel more secure talking to others outside their physical realm because it’s easier than facing people they could be physically blabbing to. There’s no need to make eye contact, flutter eyelashes and shake the tush. In texting mode, there’s no reason to blink. Of course the sheep cycle happens in this theory as well, all the shunned shunned with the insecure person and they too start blabbing and thus we see the world getting more and more smurshed. Other theories are still up for consideration.

Technology is great. I love it when I get a little red star telling me that someone across the street is thinking of me. But the fact of the matter is this dangerous smurshing trend continues I fear that I will never play a game of hide-and-go seek again. Let’s hope an antidote is found soon! I like my hair!


  1. this is stupid. people are rude and interrupt others all the time. saying that cell phones are making people into douches is missing one key point: they were already douches, they just own a cell phone now. it's like how the internet didn't make you wrong, you just now have a new medium to be wrong on.

  2. Still- the new protocol of always responding to your cell phone for every call even if you're on a date or playing with your kids is really getting dysfunctional. If I was having dinner with someone and they picked up a cell phone and talked for a half-hour(and didn't tell me it was an emergency)- I'd walk out.

    I've seen that dinner-scenario happen quite a few times... I wonder why they are even at dinner? Just stay home and talk.

  3. go put yourself in a home you geezer. obviously there's a reason why no one wants to talk to you and it isn't a cell phone.

  4. Man, I tried to read this but I failed miserably.

  5. Haha! Luddites will always find excuses to hate and try to stop any technology. You aren't able to learn how to operate a smartphone? No problem, let's ban them.

  6. The ultimate in self importance is the guy, sitting by his self in the Taco Bell, that has to carry on a quite loud conversation on his Nextel push to talk phone with that insidious beep every time he presses the button with the volume turned all the way up!

    Even worse is when he makes the kid trying to take his order, and every one in line behind him wait while he continues his conversation before he can place his order.

    Despite his self perception, I don't think he really is that important.

  7. Enjoyed reading your insightful post!