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I have come to a revolutionary conclusion: people with cell phones are the most disconnected folks in the world.

I don’t hate cell phones. I don’t hate cell phone users. While I am tempted to call many of them morons, I am fully cognizant of the fact that there are probably just as many non-cell users who are morons, they just don’t have as many opportunities to display it in public.

I went to an Amarillo Sox game the other day (they got creamed, sadly) and there were people in the stands who spent the whole time on their cell phones. Now, a Sox game is a good value, but I still don’t understand paying $5 to miss the game, something they could have done at home for free. All through the game, they sit there with their eyes and thumbs glued to their phone, only looking up when the crowd cheers or boos.

Those of you who have been to a sporting event will realize something: when the crowd cheers, it’s too late. What they are cheering for has already happened. So the guy with the cell phone has to ask his buddies, “What happened?” If he’s lucky, one of his friends wasn’t on the phone at the time and can tell him. Not that he’s going to listen to the answer, because he’s already back to his phone.

And then, you’ll see him in the parking lot, talking on the phone and telling someone what a great game it was. Never mind that the team he was ostensibly rooting for lost 13-4.

Cell phones also make me glad I don’t date anymore. Yes, I take my wife on what we call “dates”, but it’s not like the old days (praise God). You remember those? You call a girl up and ask her out. If she says yes, you take her to the best pizza place in town and sit across the table from each other making small talk shyly and trying to get to know each other. This can go on for years until one day you discover you’re married and no longer have to make small talk (just “big talk”, the scariest thing known to man but life’s blood to woman).

Not now. Now, couples apparently go on dates and then spend the entire time with their heads bowed over their phones as they text friends about how the date is going. “It’s great! He never says a word. Just bows his head respectfully and never interrupts this stimulating interchange I am having with you.” As I sit in restaurants and watch these people, I am convinced I could go over and switch out one of the people on the date with someone else and the other “participant” in the date would probably never notice.

I realize cell phones could have many valuable uses. For instance, when my wife sends me to the store after three items and I get there and can only remember two of them accurately. It might be handy to have a way to call her that would enable me to be one of those people who stand in the vegetable aisle shouting into a small hand-held device, “Chopped, diced or whole? CHOPPED, DICED OR WHOLE?!?! I’m ASKING, do you want the tomatoes CHOPPED, DICED OR WHOLE?!? STEWED?!?”

Just kidding. No one uses a cell phone that way in the store. When people are on the phone in the store it sounds like this, “She said THAT? Well, I was there and I can TELL you it wasn’t like THAT? It was—“ and then they realize you are nearby—because you’re trying to get tomatoes, too—and they glare at you for listening in on their conversation.

I’m not saying that all these people need to be disconnected. I’m saying they already are. Their experiences with life are random and sparse, sprinkled here and there between phone conversations they think they can’t live without. I would pity them but the only way they’d ever notice is if I found some way to put it into a text.