Topics: Cell phones : Use, misuse, and electronic countermeasures

Archives and past articles from the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News, and Philly.com.

Out of every 1000 calls made on cell phones, I would estimate that at least 925 are completely unnecessary, and another 50 are less than urgent and could be easily postponed. The typical cell phone user seems quite entertained by the sound of his or her own voice, which apparently is reason enough to place a call. Sometimes I suspect these solipsistic people are just talking to a dial tone, just to make themselves look important.

You have probably noticed the number of narcissistic pinheads (unless you're one of them!) who can't make a trip to a grocery store, to a movie, to church, or anywhere else without hearing themselves talk on the phone. Some of them can't even sit through a traffic light without placing a call. In the worst case, there are those self-important egotists who do not and will not turn off their phones at a funeral or in church or at a meeting, even after being asked. ("Can I call you back? We're having a moment of silence!")

Beside the annoyance to the people around the cell phone user, the widespread use of cell phones has had another adverse effect: Since almost everyone in town has a cell phone, pay phones are rapidly disappearing.

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No, the biggest concern among the concerned was: SOCIALIZATION.  Ahhhh!  Socialize those kids!  Learnin’, schmlearning- those kids need to be among herds of other kids their exact age in order to learn how to be normal.  In other words: homeschooled kids are annoying and weird, and you don’t want your kids to be annoying and weird, do you ?

Well, if someone tries to tell you that their kids are never annoying, they’re lying to you.  And if someone else tries to tell you that any child of mine isn’t going to be at least a little weird no matter how they’re educated, they’ve lost their minds.

Why is this perception of the weirdo homeschooler so pervasive?  Why is it that despite the clear academic achievement of most homeschooled students, the fear of them “acting like that one weirdo guy I knew when I was a kid” is enough to turn otherwise supportive folks against the idea?  I’ve thought about it a lot and the best explanation I can come up with is this: ridicule.