New year, new regulations for cell phone users

Mona Mattei
By Mona Mattei
January 7th, 2010

Welcome to 2010! The time of all things new is January of each year. For 2010 we have new cell phone regulations, new security measures at airports, and a new look for the Boundary Sentinel. At the Sentinel we started out with a heritage look and decided that we would move to a more modern stylized look for the new decade. I hope you enjoy the same top quality news coverage with our eagle ever vigilant watching over our valley!

It seems that our lives are constantly becoming faster paced. Since the advent of computers, the speed of communications has increased incrementally. I can still remember using a telex machine ( do you even know what that is?) to communicate with other countries – and really I’m not that old! My world moved from ticker tape communications to faxes and networked computers and now to the internet and cellular age. Instant communications anytime, anywhere.

But with the onset of these communications technologies also comes a whole new generation who cannot even imagine living in the world ten years ago. It is just a routine part of life that they can text their friends, or call on the cell to be in constant contact. A blessing and also a problem. Lately people just cannot understand that perhaps we don’t need to be in constant contact. Sometimes it is just as well that we take time for ourselves and leave the phone behind. But say that to a youth today and they would look at you like you have two heads.

So, now, we need to regulate the use of the tools of communication. The ban on use of the cell in vehicles without voice only tools is a direct result of the impact the need for constant communications has had on society. Accidents have been traced directly to people using a cell or texting while driving. Dialing a number, or worse texting, certainly draws your attention away from the job at hand – driving. I personally have noticed that if I am driving behind someone whose skills I’ve questioned, they are often using a phone.

I am in full support of this new regulation, but I also recognize the onus it places on enforcement. Like the seatbelt regulation, unless the law is enforced nothing will change.

Or perhaps this is the chance for everyone to consider the use of cell phones in general.

Is there really so much in our lives that cannot wait the five minutes it takes to drive downtown from home? Can we really not do groceries without talking to our best friend? Surely we can survive being out of communications for short periods of time? That’s why many of us choose to head into the mountains and relax in nature – it takes us away from the pressure of technology.

So, here at the beginning of 2010, I wish everyone a happy New Year and many cell-free hours! Enjoy.

Categories: Op/Ed