Serving the heart of California since 1892

The Madera Tribune

You probably already know this, but ...

Most newspaper content here is incomplete. Want it all? Sooner? Subscribe to our full print and online editions by calling (559) 674-4207 and get both for the price of one!

webmaster | 08/19/13

Something just dawned on me, which may have dawned on you, but I will tell you what it is, anyway, because I love telling others what has just dawned on me even though it may be old news to them. (In fact, nearly everything is becoming old news to me, but that is another story)

Here is what dawned on me: Cell phones are the new cigarettes, pipes and cigars.

Here is when this revelation became clear: I was sitting in a meeting and noticed that while the leader of the group was speaking, all the others were playing with their cell phones, including me. I was playing with my cell phone’s stop watch because the leader of this group had been droning on for what seemed like a long time, and I wanted to see if that were true, or if it was just me. (It was just me.) Then I remembered that 30 years ago, these people wouldn’t have been playing on their cell phones, they would have been smoking cigarettes, pipes or cigars.

Yes, folks, if you are under 30, you probably don’t remember there was a time when smoking was as common as ... playing with one’s cell phone is today. The psychologists who were trying to help people stop smoking concluded smoking had as much to do with fidgeting as it did with trying to kill oneself with smoke.

I remember working on newspapers then, and not being able to type a word until I had fired up my pipe.

Now, a reporter might sit down to write, but before typing a single digit will make sure his or her cell phone is close at hand and in a position where it can be seen out of the corner of his or her eye.

When bosses started putting up “No Smoking” signs in offices, the smokers thought life was over as they knew it. I know, I did. But life went on.

Now, I wonder when they’ll start putting up “No Cell Phones” signs.


comments powered by Disqus