Why Always on the Phone?

There are a certain number of us that must be on the phone at all times. Those who do this may or may not be aware of it. I would almost venture that a great many aren’t aware of it as phones take over personal face-to-face communication more and more each day. But there are those who will walk around with a phone glued to their ear no matter where they are and while it shouldn’t bother me as its their business, it really does bother me. It’s mainly for the fact that mobile conversations are always, always louder than normal conversations, forcing me to hear every intimate detail of a discussion that I really shouldn’t be hearing.
It may sound as if I’m talking about the US, but this phenomenon is also readily seen in Europe as well. I see a great many princessy girls walking around with the damned thing glue to their ear no matter where and it’s always these inane conversations along the lines of, “Oh yeah. Oh my god. What? No. Really? Wow. No, really…” They make me think that these people are scared to be alone with their own thoughts for a second or they’re so insecure that they don’t want to appear as if they’re without friends. I suppose maybe more of the later or maybe the former. The reasons are undoubtedly numerous, but never an excuse to pollute public spaces with blather.
For those of us in the US, it’s not a big deal to have these conversations as monthly plans with tons of minutes don’t cost much, thusly positing that talk is indeed cheap. For Europeans, it’s a much different situation. Voice communication is incredibly expensive in Europe.
This recent article outlines the fact that in Spain, it is much more of an SMS culture than a voice culture. Even still, there are so many people burning through money on phones at a cost of upwards of 1€ a minute. Yes, that’s mighty pricey.
Beyond the annoyance to me and beyond the cost to them, it’s a scary thing to see in Europe. While in the US we seem to be quite happy to grow ever more distant with each other, sacrificing personal communication with the newest technology, but in Europe, it’s quite sad. The cafe culture of Europe is a beautiful thing and a great reason why social life is much more healthy in European countries. To see this usurped by mobile phone communication is outright painful and as costs slowly come down, more chat time goes up. I don’t really see what will reverse it, as the newer generations spend more and more time wired and less time physically together. We shall only wait and invariably see.
Why Always on the Phone?