10 Stupid Things Done With Cell Phones

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A Brief History

On June 29, 2007, Apple Inc. introduced its iPhone for sale, resulting in massive sales over the next 7 years of over 500 million units.  People love their cell phones, and many act as though they could not live without it.  They certainly have many beneficial uses to society and to the user.  Motor vehicle accidents and other emergencies can be promptly reported, and many drunk drivers are taken off the road after being reported by cell phone.  Here we list 10 not so good uses of cell phones, ones that can get the user or other people killed or are just annoying.  (Note:  We take for granted that giving cell phones to little kids is idiotic.)

Digging Deeper

10. Walking Around a Public Place Talking on a Hands Free Device.

You end up looking like a nut, talking to yourself.  Everyone near you thinks you are talking to them and answers you.  It is irritating and annoying to others, and people have been hit by cars, stepped into holes, and walked into walls because of being preoccupied on the phone.  To this category we would add using a cell phone while in a classroom, a movie, or a meeting where your use of it may distract others or insult the speaker.

9.  Talking on the Cell When Doing Business With Someone Else.

When a store clerk or salesman is assisting you, or you are checking out at the register, it is exceedingly rude to be gabbing on your phone.  Do one thing at a time and save the multi-tasking when it does not irritate other people.

8.  Relying on it Without a Backup Plan.

If you trust your cell phone to conduct business or save your life you can bet sooner or later Murphy’s Law will take effect and the battery will die, you will be in a no service area, it will break, or you will lose it (stolen counts, too).  Same thing applies to counting on the navigation features.  Do not be caught without a map in case the phone stops working, or you will be sorry.

7.  Storing Anything on the Phone That May Embarrass You Later.

When your parents or girlfriend goes through your phone and finds incriminating texts or photos, you will understand this admonition.  Even the numbers you store for speed dialing can embarrass you if the wrong person finds them.  Always keep in mind that someone you least want going through your phone might be the next person to go through your phone and act accordingly.

6.  Discussing Private Matters.

Cell phones are not secure devices.  They can be hacked by government agencies and criminals, as well as journalists (oh, we already said criminals).  If you are plotting a crime or conducting critical business or anything you need kept private, just do not discuss it on a cell phone.  You are just asking for a problem.  And remember, your travels can be tracked and your cell phone records can be subpoenaed or hacked.  It is not paranoia if they really are out to get you!

5.  The Cell Yell.

Why do so many people think they have to talk substantially louder than normal because they are on a cell phone?  We do not know, but there are a bunch of them, many that we know personally.  Sitting in a restaurant or other public place while some goof talks loud enough for the entire joint to hear is annoying and compromises the privacy of the phone user as well as the person he/she is talking to.

4.  Sexting.

Commonly done by teens, they take and store photos of themselves and others in various states of nudity or sexual positions, and then send them to each other.  When someone in the photo or receiving a copy of the photo turns out to be less than 18 years old everyone in the sending and receiving chain may be liable for prosecution under child pornography laws, a serious matter indeed.  Lurid sexual text messages may be embarrassing or incriminating as well.  See #7.

3.  Trying to Follow the GPS/Navigation Feature While Driving.

While a useful feature, the navigation app on your “smart phone” is not so smart to use when you are driving.  Looking at that little screen takes your eyes off the road and can cause you or someone else to get killed or crippled.  If you must, have a passenger read the instructions and tell you what they are.  

2.  Talking on the Cell Phone While Driving.  

Is this action no different than talking to a passenger in the car?  Yes, it is different.  Studies show it is more distracting and causes more accidents.  Additionally, fumbling around with a handheld device while dialing numbers or scrolling through menus is also deadly.  Again, this behavior can get you or someone else killed or crippled.

1.  Texting While Driving.

Quite possibly the stupidest thing you can do with a cell phone, like #2 and #3 texting while driving can be deadly, and all too often is.  How many times have you seen a car or truck wandering around the road, leaving its lane or slowing to traffic impeding speeds when you see the driver is texting?  We have seen it a lot, and we would like to see it a lot less!  If you really have to send or receive a text and your life depends on it, pull over and do it while you are stopped, because your life does depend on it!

Question for students (and subscribers): Tell us what you think should or should not be on our list in the comments section below this article.

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Historical Evidence

For more information, please see…

Carlo, George.  Cell Phones: Invisible Hazards in the Wireless Age: An Insider’s Alarming Discoveries about Cancer and Genetic Damage.  Basic Books, 2002.


About Author

Major Dan

Major Dan is a retired veteran of the United States Marine Corps. He served during the Cold War and has traveled to many countries around the world. Prior to his military service, he graduated from Cleveland State University, having majored in sociology. Following his military service, he worked as a police officer eventually earning the rank of captain prior to his retirement.