New law out of touch with culture

Lew Stamp/Akron Beacon Journal/MCT:


Lew Stamp/Akron Beacon Journal/MCT:

Briana Monasky

Technology consumes us, or better yet, we can’t stop consuming it. It isn’t merely one facet of our lives that it affects; it’s everything. We pay bills, register for school and stay up to date on news via the Internet. We shop online, we e-mail, we chat and for a while now, we have been doing it all on our cell phones.

It seems that we are a melting pot of what it once was to be a real human being. We feel alive when we’re engulfed in constant shipments of validation that we are still alive. Breathing isn’t enough anymore. We’ve become shallow.

We go, go go. Being average isn’t an option anymore. We’ve got to multitask. It’s not just productivity anymore, it’s another level. It’s 24-hour a day communication.

I blame Oprah.

I was driving down the highway a couple days of ago when my Blackberry vibrated. As this happens, I feel better. Someone cares about me. Someone is taking the time to let me interrupt his or her life. It was a text from my best friend. I steadied my right hand on the steering wheel and kept my left on my phone. This is what I always do. Starting Jan. 1, I won’t be doing this anymore?legally.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is saying “no” to texters for his new year’s resolution. Starting then, Californians may not send, receive or view texts while operating a motor vehicle. Those sidekick owners are gonna be pissed.

“Banning electronic text messaging while driving will keep drivers’ hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road, making our roadways a safer place for all Californians,” said Schwarzenegger, according to a recent Los Angeles Times article on the issue.

Eyes on the road? Not quite. I’m planning on finding another way to check my Blackberry without the police noticing. Will I keep it nestled between my thighs and glance back sporadically, devising a discreet typing method with either hand? I can only wonder what golden miracles of ideas I’ll conjure up.

Ultimately, people will obey and the roads may end up safer, but I’m going to be bored, and apparently dumber as well.

A recent New York Times article reported that the act of texting actually removed 10 I.Q. points.

Wait. Texting is making me stupid, too? Well, only momentarily, but that is certainly something to consider while texting your friends, “Where u at?” on the road. Our vibrating Blackberrys are making us dull. That beep consumes me. The minute I hear it, the gears start-a-turnin’. Who was that? Was it something important? It has to be something important.

In the end, Arnold is messing with my personal relationships. How am I supposed to K.I.T. with my BFFs if they can’t get a hold of me 24/7? How will I know that people love me, that my brother dropped the rent check off, that my friend is meeting me for coffee? That’s what it is-I just can’t wait. I’m driving and I want to know NOW.

This is a NOW nation. TiVo, YouTube, MySpace- mobile, drive-thru Starbucks, Walgreens and Burger King. As an American, I am told I don’t have to wait for anything. So why is an Austrian making me wait for my text messages?

Maybe this column should end in text format.

“OMG. Y is Arnold messing w my txts? Did u know if they pull u over it’s 20 bux? My BF is gonna freak out when he cnt txt me ATT. We r Adctd2txt. I dnt rly kno wut the big deal is. I txt when I drive all the time. Nvr had an accident. Newayz. Cool. G2G. TTYL.”

Briana Monasky can be reached at [email protected]