As if we have enough surveys kicking around in the name of pseudoscience, another one came to my attention.
I’ve already seen numbers on how many people use their cell phones at the dinner table (just plain rude) or in the head (wrong at multiple levels), but we’re getting into ridiculous territory here. Now the L.A. Times reports that one in 10 Americans use their smartphones during sex.
Already the numbers are suspect. Slice ‘em up and you’ll find that 1 in 10 admit to using their smartphones while doing the horizontal mambo. Of those, you might have a fraction who are just trying to be funny, and of course you’ll find plenty who won’t admit to such phone use. You’ll catch a few who say that’s how they talk to their spouses during sex, too (drummer does rimshot). It’s like asking a sample of Americans how many pour Jack Daniels over their Wheaties or something — one in 10 do, and another 2 in 10 ask what that tastes like.
Of course, 83.7 percent of statistics are made up on the spot. Just so you know.
It’s not like social scientists are out on the field observing this phenomenon, and they certainly won’t ask the person in flagrante dilecto if that’s Facebook, Twitter or the latest phone app he’s using. I mean, there are some limits to gathering information.
Have to admit, those smartphones are addictive. What you’re basically doing is playing with a computer you can take with you anywhere. You can check the weather, find out how many calories and trans fats are in that sweet roll you’re eating at work, catch up on the latest news or see how those Angels are doing (lost again, Pujols went hitless, bullpen puked it up, per usual). Anything you can do on a computer you can do on a smartphone.
Even back in the days when your regular flip phones roamed the earth, they were everywhere. People used them while driving. While at work when they were supposed to be waiting on customers (which always elicited very sharp words from me). At the theater, in a restaurant, wherever.
Or texting while walking. Every once in a while you catch a news story (on your phone, of course) about some guy who falls down an open manhole, texting all the way down.
Here in laid-back genteel Charleston, cell phones turned everybody into New Yorkers. That’s bad.
During my cab-driving days I often had a carload of passengers, each one talking on the phone in the back and shotgun seats. Place would sound like a call center. It’s even funnier when I got passengers from one of the container ships at Charleston’s ports; each would converse in their own languages.
At the truck yard where I once worked I saw more near-collisions in the checkout lanes because the drivers were on the phone. Many’s the time I had to walk up to the stopped truck in my lane, tap on the window and tell the driver to come out. Without the phone. Ebventually he’d come out with one of those Bluetooth receivers in his ear, with the eerie blue power light glowing as if he’s an alien. Naturally, I suspected many of the truckers were aliens.
As ugly as civilization got with cell phones, it got worse when smartphones entered the mix.
Now you can go inside any church and see the folks in their pews, smartphones out. Many are are likely following along with Scripture (you know there’s an app for that) but others are probably tweeting.
But smartphones during sex?
OK, call me a fossil, a relic right out of the old school. You’re probably right. I was once told I was 30 years behind the times (my response was that 30 years was still way too close for comfort), so despite my own love of smartphones and tech toys there are just some situations where they don’t belong.
Put sex at the top of the list. There’s nothing casual about the act, although many people seem to think it is. Something like that deserves one’s undivided attention. It’s like your partner is counting ceiling tiles, only she’s much more obvious about it. It’s like he’s talking to another girlfriend — or his spouse — or posting pictures on Facebook.
People like that are just begging to be slapped. To be snatched bald. To be insulted within an inch of their lives.
If, as I suspect, smartphone use during sex is just another signal that our civiliaztion is headed on a fast train to nowhere, at least there’s an upside to this. Really.
If this smartphone use cuts into their ability to procreate, so much the better.
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You tell me: Well, never mind. Just. Never. Mind. I’d ask for the usual comments, but it’ll be seriously into TMI territory for me.