July 15, 2024 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

My Town

Michael Levine

As I was getting into the elevator of my Beverly Hills office building, I noticed a young lady standing to my left with whom I had conversed on a number of occasions.

“Good morning, Linda,†I said.
“Are you eating?†she replied.
“Excuse me?â€

She turned to face me and it was then that I noticed the cell phone in her left hand, pressed to her ear. She continued her vitally urgent, riveting conversation.

“What are you eating? Mmm hmm. What else are you eating? And what do you have to drink?â€

When the doors opened, she got off the elevator without so much as a word to me. Clearly, the person eating on the other end of the phone was far more important.

Cell phones have become the most addictive drug of our age, and the Westside of LA is the biggest crack den of all. They satiate our interaction fix without the messiness of having to face anyone or actually talk about anything, let alone having to think or consider what they are saying.

Around noon, while waiting for a friend at an upscale restaurant here on the Westside, I was people watching when I spotted a couple on what appeared to be a first date at the next table. They were enjoying a pleasant conversation before the man excused himself to go to the restroom. He had not yet turned the corner before the young woman pulled her cell phone out of her purse and began frantically clicking away. She didn’t take a moment to reflect on the conversation they’d been having; she was too busy texting! When he came back, she returned her crack pipe of a Blackberry to her purse. Ten minutes later, when it was her turn to use the restroom, he repeated the exact process. They were on a date both with each other and their phones. And neither of them had turned their ringers off.  Repeatedly and throughout the meal, they interrupted their face-to-face contact with quick fixes of technology.

People evidently feel the need to fill voids with chattering instead of chatting, calling each other when they are bored rather when they actually want a conversation. Later that day, I was driving home from work when I received a phone call from a good friend.

“Hi, what can I do for you?†I asked.
“Oh, nothing,†he said.
“Why did you call?â€
“I’m on a date and she went to the bathroom.â€
“Oh.â€
“So… do you want to know what I’m eating?â€

in News
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