Put That Phone Down, Let’s Talk

For the love of beer
The perfect place and beverage to share some casual conversation.

If we were having a beer, you’d be buying…for a change.

“Hey geek-boy. I’m glad you’re here. Cheryl, pour that man a Yuengling.”

“Geek-boy? Let me guess, you’re having problems with your laptop, and it just happens to be in your car.”

“No, no, nothing like that, I need to pick your brain about V2V.”

“Here’s your beer Dan. It’s not too late to get this in a sack to go.”

“Thanks Cheryl. V2V? Should I just start babbling, or is there something in particular?”

“Like you’d have a problem babbling? I heard them talking about it on the radio, I was just curious.”

dashboard
Nothing fancy here, just plain old vehicle-to-driver communication

“It stands for vehicle-to-vehicle, as in communication. It’s part of the whole Internet-of-things thing.”

“Please, don’t work yourself into a geeky froth.”

“I’m not sure this beer is adequate payment.”

“Cheryl, when he’s done with that one, put a refill on my tab. Let’s try to start this conversation, again.”

“In a nutshell, V2V will allow vehicles to communicate safety and mobility information amongst themselves. That could reduce congestion, prevent accidents, who knows? Maybe save a few lives.”

“I’m not sure I want my car talking to other cars. What if my car tells your car something I don’t want you to know?”

“You drive a Jaguar. It probably wouldn’t talk to my Jeep.”

“Good point. You have to stay in the right lane, like in high school.”

“Actually, it’s limited to information related to vehicle control.”

“Removing control from the driver? What if I want to run a red light?”

“Is that really an option worth preserving?”

“It is. Sometimes, you have to break a minor traffic law, in order to avoid an accident.”

“Yes, but if your car is talking to the other cars, you aren’t going to be in those situations.”

“Why not just let the car drive itself? What do you need me for?”

“They’ll get there, soon enough.”

“That’s shortsighted. Studies have shown that driving is good for your mind. This is another case of you snap-heads doing things because you can, without considering if you should.”

“Snap-heads?”

“You didn’t seem to like geek boy, so…”

“OK, let’s not say ‘driverless’ – let’s say you have a guy driving a truck but there are nine driverless trucks following him. That would be efficient. It would be like a train.”

“You and your trains. So nine people forget how to drive?

“People forget how to do a lot of things. Then they learn how to do other stuff. It’s called progress.”

“Speaking of progress, you’re not making any, Dan. Let me pour you that second beer before he takes back his credit card.”

“Thanks Cheryl, but he did ask for the information. I’m not looking forward to any of this, I like driving.”

Chili's
You can still get a waitress, but who knows for how long.

“It’s not just driving. You know what else you can forget? You can forget Cheryl. At Chili’s, they have digital Cheryls. Sign-in, order, pay, tip, complain… all to a box… Is that what you want?”

“Whoa! Stop with the digital Cheryl’s please. You can’t replace this pretty face and delightful banter with a box.”

“You might have a point, Cheryl, but does anyone care? I mean there’s us two relics, but I’ve seen this bar packed with people staring into their cell phones. They’d be fine with Cheryl-in-a-box.”

“Sheesh, keep talking and I’m gonna pour myself a drink.

“Let’s not send Cheryl over the edge. I think you’re overreacting a bit.”

“You think? Remember driving with the window down and mooing at the cows in the fields? When was the last time you mooed at a cow?”

“I love mooing at cows. When Faith was little, I even got a cow to moo back.”

Trinity Farms
Nothing but moo in our milk. These guys belong to Trinity Farms.

“Ha, well consider a little girl in the back of a self-driving car. She’ll see a picture of a cow on a screen. She’ll touch the cow and the car will play the sound a cow makes.”

“You know, you can do that now. It’s like a digital See & Say.”

“You’re missing the point, there’s actually a cow outside the car. An honest to goodness cow, but the car would ‘see’ it, not the girl. I’m telling you, it’s the end of communication as we know it.”

“You’re sure you’re not overreacting?”

“I don’t think so. I think we post photos instead if describing people and things. We post video instead of telling stories. The human race could actually forget how to tell stories!”

“Seriously? Not overreacting, even a little?”

“Nope. In twenty years, if this bar is still here, I’ll bet no one will be talking.”

“You know, there’s a bar in England where the owner offers no WiFi and blocks cell signals. He’s forcing people to talk.”

“Really? That sounds wonderful. Cheryl, they should do that here.”

“We’re halfway there. We’ve never had WiFi, and if you’re on Verizon, there’s no signal here.”

“I am painfully aware of those facts Cheryl. I guess my car won’t be revealing any secrets in your parking lot.”

“As long as your credit card works, I’m good. Thanks for the beers, AND for the conversation. I’m going to drive home while I can still see the cows.”

76 thoughts on “Put That Phone Down, Let’s Talk

Add yours

  1. I’m thinking playing I Spy with your car could be akin to chess with computer…an exercise in learning how to lose.

    I’ve had to drive to the big city a bit lately and from the behaviour of a lot of drivers on the freeway, V2V can’t come soon enough.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry this got trapped in the spam bucket. I do think that some people just shouldn’t be driving, but I worry about the cost, the maintenance and the inevitable commercialization of those features. I can see my car deciding that it likes the stuff Wal*Mart has on sale today…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. More and more I’m aware of the fact that all of us has caught the good times by the tips of the hair. So much of everything is irreparably gone or going. I don’t mind progress and I don’t think women who used to have to wash all laundry by hand were terribly missing the chats they had with each other during washing time when they got their first washing machine, and I think fridge is a wonderful thing, and tap water, and computer too, it’s humans who should be educated to hold back and not do stuff just because they have the urge. Forget about the phone for a while. Moo to the cows. Stand away from the comp (talking to myself here).

    Liked by 2 people

  3. If I make too many comments on this topic, my age will show because I still value the idea of sitting across from someone, looking them in the eye, and having a conversation. I will also say that my grandkids refuse to go with friends to a particular bookstore because they restrict the WiFi during certain hours so people can converse. I’ve certainly enjoyed listening to their commentary about this particular practice, and again my age shows. Happy Saturday, Dan. :-)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Judy. Your age isn’t a problem here. I love the days I go to the bar and get so caught up in conversation that I don’t even look at my phone. The guy in England says that people are talking again since he restricted access.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Dan, so much food for thought here and so little time to react, as I have to work a half day today. At coffee shops as well as other places where people used to talk, I see people on their devices constantly while in the company of their friends! Maybe they’re texting each other instead of talking. Who knows? But what a loss in so many ways!! I also detest the rudeness of spending time with someone who’s constantly checking or using the phone. And don’t even start me on driverless cars. I realize they would have their uses (older people who aren’t allowed to drive anymore, for instance), but I enjoy driving. I also think about what happens if something goes wrong. Great scenario for yet another cyber horror story.

    janet

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Janet. Obviously, I am conflicted. there are good and valid uses for technology but some story lines, if allowed to proceed, don’t end well. I do worry that technology will change at a pace that is faster than our ability to adapt to it.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Perhaps I’m lucky, but my friends don’t feel the need to be attached to their screen all the time, and although all my family members love their technology, we can sit and spent hours together chatting.
    … but I have mixed feelings about the whole driverless car thing. On one hand, I’ve seen too many technology-gone-bad movies to feel entirely comfortable about them, but at the same time, there are SO MANY people on the road today who SHOULDN’T BE DRIVING!!!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Your last point is a good one Joanne. Fortunately, we get along pretty well with real conversations, too. Although, I have been known to text my wife when she’s upstairs because it will upset the dog less than if I yell :)

      Like

  6. I am one who uses my blogging time as my short way to keep ties. To maintain sanity during the week, I don’t do this as much as I used to, Dan. I won’t be as current in blog dialogues but my life span will increase, somehow I sense this.
    The car backing up screen on my girlfriend’s car confuses me. I must be a little inept or something. I glance at it but feel nauseous like car sick feeling when you are at a light and someone next to you moves their car forward!
    So, guess what? Strangely, for about 4 months, I am dating again. Maybe due to his younger age, but maybe just his interest in data but we text, not talk throughout the day! It cracks me up! I am amused but when we eat out, both of us glance at our phones when we hear messages (or in my case, email WordPress notifications.)
    I want to put a stop to this, but at least we don’t reply while eating out . . . :)
    I always am looking out the window when I am a passenger! I still am glad I found those alpacas out in the country and the sweetest dog ever, (other than Maddie of course!) “guarding” them!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Good for you, Robin (dating). I’m not advocating leaving the phone in the car or shutting it off. People settle into what works for them and there’s opportunities for a gagillion compromises. The nausea you feel from the video screen is real. We don’t do well with motion when we can’t see that we’re moving, and we don’t deal well with apparent motion that is so close to us (the screen is so much closer than the back of the car). It’s a physical thing that has been studied by the military in research on augmented and artificial reality. You’re not weird, you just might be normal :)

      Like

  7. Great post. Yes, there is great progress in the world. Yet, it can all come with a price. Phones every second of the day can make you miss so much. On the other hand, my phone has helped me with many things too: finding a location, introducing me to a new musical artist, getting me quick times for a spontaneous movie date with my son, or checking the times of the local sushi place so my daughter and I can meet for lunch. I guess the key is balance. Too much of anything can be bad, right?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s so true, Michelle. The key is balance. The technology, among other things, has provided me with the ability to feed my family for almost 40 years. I can’t say I don’t like it. But I see a lot of things being developed that give me reason to pause. I think we have to keep asking “is this really better?”

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh, so that’s what V2V means. Not sure how well that will be received… there are so many people who won’t turn on their turn signal — because they don’t want to give away their strategy. They surely would not like that. ;)
    I enjoyed the way you brought things together to end this one. Hugs!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Interesting dilemma. Like some others, I can see pros and cons to V2V and driverless cars. But one aspect isn’t getting much attention, and it’s one we used to hear more about: as cars become more computerized, they become more hackable.

    I’m not a technophobe, but my concern with more and more Internet-laden vehicles is the potential for someone to hack in, steal information, and/or create general mischief. I’m not saying the problem can’t be addressed, mind you, just that it’s something to think about. Preferably over a free drink, of course …

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You raise a great point, Paul. Like most things, these connections will probably ship with passwords of ‘0000’. The other issue I didn’t address is cost. Both purchase and maintenance is going to be rising like healthcare and education.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. I prefer to drive my own car and moo at cows outside. Or talk to people who are not looking at their phones. Progress is great as long as we don’t forget how to communicate with one another or use our heads in critical situations…although there might be use for a beer glass that tells you to hand over the keys and call a cab when you tip it one too many times.

    Liked by 2 people

        1. Ha ha – that does happen. We have fresh tomatoes now, maybe enough to start eating like that. Someone mentioned butter, peanut butter & tomato on an English muffin, in a comment last year. It sounds gross but it is really good. A biscuit would be better, but…

          Liked by 2 people

  11. Can I hit double like for the bar with no tele and no wifi and no cell phones? I am ready for the time travel machine where I get to go back in time…. I would GIVE UP MY COMPUTER for more people thinking. I find people thinking and communicating are a huge problem. NO one reads their emails anymore. I write something specific, they write back asking the question that was there in the six-sentence email. Shit, you got me started. I am out of here and on my way to the PSU market where I can talk to farmers and we leave our cell phones in the car.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Ah, the peace of a walk through the farmers market, cash only, leafy trees, home before it hits 100+. Yes, a nerve. Especially as I sent a specific email Friday and the woman answered it but didn’t and I need it now….. I am learning to not be polite or make any references to anything but just send emails that say, directly, no dear anywho, “I want this.” Hard ot be rude when you grew up polite…. but then they seem to answer! I was happy to read a beer posting — some of my favorite postings are the beer postings.

        Liked by 2 people

  12. I am honored you know mw so well Dan. And thanks for the “pretty face” comment. 😊
    Well I am a closet conspiracy theorist so I don’t like the concept of relinquishing my own control, even though I am surrounded by idiots who don’t deserve the privelage of many freedoms they enjoy. As with all techno advances we tend to be blinded by ehat I call the “Tommoowland Effect”. It was that magic moment when, as a child, you stood on the moving floor t Disney’s Tomorrowland and viewed yha magical world of the future with color tv’s, microwaves and jet pack propulsion transportation. WOW! How many people do you know in your everyday life who will still get out and ride a bike or even walk somewhere beacuse it’s “too hot”. I am one of few people in my citcls who understand that ‘homemade biscuits’ doesn’t mean they are whipped up using Bisquick. The most frightening thing for me is to ealk through our waiting room and see every head bowed into their devices with only the droning a the tv on the news channel burping out the latest political propaganda to which the remaining few heads are craned upward, mesmerized. Even the seniors are hooked on media and techno devices. Look at me, here I am on my iPad and haven’t been outside yet. But in my defense, I consider this time spent with friends. I don’t surf. It’s more like chilling at the (virtual) beach drinking beer with Buds. I think the creators of Wall-E were prophetic. And if our cars were to communicate they would likely advise one another to drive South until we reach the tip of Florida then jump out and swim to The nearest island. Without our cell phones. Lol Now THAT would be a smart car. 😉

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Cheryl. I always worry that in going to get it wrong. If I hadn’t been running around, I would have asked a couple of questions. As it was, I was editing this until late last night. I love Wall-E, and I can totally picture that happening. I like some of the high-tech features in cars but they add so much to the cost. The bottom line is, I just want transportation. I don’t derive status from my car. Homemade biscuits, oh my yum :)

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I want to drive my own car for as long as I can. It’s fun!

    I was on the road coming home from a photography day when out of the blue the Gps unit said,’ Message received”. WHAT? I have wondered to this day who in the world it was talking to you and what was the message? That was a bit sci-fi eerie! I don’t want my car talking to strangers! :)

    Like Paul I’d also worry about cars getting hacked by nefarious people.

    I moo at cows, but they’re so big I’m a bit afraid of them. In one of the parks I hike in they let cows roam and graze freely. No fences. It’s a bit unnerving coming face to face with a BIG cow! I usually give them a wide berth and Moo hello, it’s okay I’m going around. :)

    Cheryl those homemade biscuits sound delicious! I like mine warm with jam. :)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, another fan of biscuits an mooing. You guys are the best :)

      I’m generally a fan of technology but I worry that they’re putting so much stuff in cars that isn’t cost effective. Seriously, I’ve never hit anyone in my blind spot and I’ve been driving over 40 years. I agree with Paul, security will be the last thing they think about.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. We don’t have many cows in our area but I ALWAYS moo when we see them on road trips. I didn’t realize that it was a “thing.” I wonder what in our collective humanness makes us do that? I imagine that driverless cars are in our future and they will become normal in just a few years. I don’t mind that nearly as much as self-serve restaurants where there would be no chance for friendly interaction (to say nothing of the lost jobs).

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I have never heard of V2V. How out of the loop am I? First it was people walking and texting; now they are PokemonGo-ing. Can someone please look up and talk to me?! Moo at the cows? Oh, absolutely! Why would anyone want to miss out on all nature has to offer? Such a scary post, Dan. All this technology and sometimes I think it is being used for the wrong purposes.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. This post has fantastic comments, which means it’s a spectacular post. I laughed at the Jaguar not talking to the Jeep. Oh lol!
    I don’t know enough I suppose, but I saw the driverless car videos and I.am.not.a.fan. Can we not just improve and increase mass transit?!? This goes back to the other post about how the common folk can find the solutions and the powers that be are like, “Let’s make it worse!” Ugh.
    We had that Chili’s experience. I hate to admit, I really liked not having to wait on the server to return the card. I liked that she never even had to touch it. Brilliant. But I like servers, they understand how I need more Coke…again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Improve and increase mass transit. I’d love that but that’s crazy talk. The last time I was at Chili’s I should have used the box. Our waitress was awful. She didn’t understand anything, including the fact that casadias are served with black beans and rice. She brought French fries. Thanks for adding to the list of fantastic comments.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. I really loved the conversation and enjoyed it. On a couple of trips with my nieces I have warned them that I don’t want them to play with their smartphone when I’m talking to them because it’s rude. I go to McDonalds and I see 10-12 college buddies sitting together and all of them are silently typing something on their mobile device. What kind of party is this? Can’t you just talk to each other and have a good time for a few minutes. Why did you come here if you wanted to interact online? On the streets, I see these people immersed in their mobile device walking at a snail pace, I personally call them Smartphone Zombies. I also have written a lot about new technologies in automobiles that makes everything automatic, but then what’s the point. I don’t drive, but I have many friends who tell me they love to drive and love switching gears and all that, so if everything is automatic, it robs all the driving fun and pleasure. The whole purpose of technology is to enhance our life, not to suck out all the good things we enjoy.

    Liked by 1 person

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