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Mobile Communication Is it only rude if someone else is doing it?

“I had no choice,” he nodded and said to me. “You were mak- ing too much noise.” Survey findings show that a vast majority — in excess of


90 percent — say they have seen others misuse mobile tech- nology, while less than 20 percent admit to their own poor mobile behavior.

I must admit that it is a pet peeve of mine for someone’s cell phone to ring in the middle of a meeting or in certain public places. Needless to say, it was like a slap in the face when my Android mobile phone rang audibly in a meeting of county officials at the Association of Arkansas Counties on Tursday morning, Nov. 20, 2014. Yes, I remember exactly when it was because I had broken one of my cardinal rules. I had not silenced my phone before going into the meeting. I quickly exited the room as quietly as possible and took the phone call in the hallway. It was much more difficult to stay focused on the rest of the meeting since the phone call was from a fishing buddy who wanted to go crappie fishing that afternoon. I was three hours away and there was no way I could make that crappie fishing outing. Oh well, I had work to do anyway … and I digress. We live in a world of trendy communication tools — a time quite different than the days of my youth [no that was not a millennium ago]. When I gave the salutatory address at my high school graduation almost 43 years ago I talked about “Creative Power.” In part of that speech I spoke about the creative power that had been expended in the previous 75 years to create, invent or extensively develop various things in the field of transportation; in communications; in agricul- ture; in medicine; and in inventing and developing electrical appliances and machinery for the home and office. I went on to say in that speech, “Just as surely as creative power has been instrumental in revolutionizing and completely transform- ing all the major phases of living here in America, so will that same creative power be used to revolutionize present standards

riends and I were chatting over dinner in a restaurant. A man at the next table told his cell-phone caller to hold on. Ten he stepped outside to talk. When he returned, I said, “Tat was very thoughtful.”

in an even greater way in the 75 years ahead.” Little did I know at the time just

how accurate that statement was! Technology has “mushroomed” over the past 40 years. Today’s technology, if used properly, is key to success. Most of us today have smartphones — a mobile phone with an operating system. Smartphones include the features of a phone along with things like a personal digital assistant (PDA), a digital camera, a media player, and a GPS navigation unit. And the list continues with the features of a touchscreen computer, including web browsing, Wi-Fi, third-party apps and mobile payment. You may use an Android, or maybe an iPhone or a BlackBerry. Technology tools include e-mail, instant messaging and e-faxing. And for those who want face-to-face communica- tion there is telepresence and ooVoo. I recently became aware of Dropbox file sharing. Dropbox is a file hosting service — that “cloud storage” you hear about. I keep trying to figure out where that cloud is and what it looks like. How much of a good thing is too much? Or do we just need to learn a little more about technology etiquette? Marshal McLuhan, in his 1964 book Understanding Me- dia: the Extensions of Man, coined the phrase “The medium is the message.” This was a time when a bit belonged in a horse’s mouth, a bite was what a dog did and a BlackBerry was a fruit used to make jelly, jam and cobblers. Things have changed. Today’s communication devices make the way we transmit and receive information almost more relevant than what we have to say. Te obsession with how we communicate has developed into

Eddie A. Jones County Consultant

fashion statements. Some people change communication devices as often as they change socks. Just look at our 21st century tele- phone (to use an archaic term). Cell phones started off rather large. Ten they became tiny. Now they’re getting larger again. Tey are sometimes modified to fit body shape. Deputy Barney

Seems To Me...

75 Counties - One Voice 20 COUNTY LINES, WINTER 2015

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