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This is an extremely uncomfortable “facility” on your mobile. The mobile itself is an uncomfortable device. But with chat we have reached a point of great discomfort. Of course the answer to that is to leave your mobile when you don’t want to be disturbed, but who is that strong? I definitely am NOT.
If by chance I leave the room without my mobile I feel naked. I am one of those people who have become so dependent on their mobiles they cannot live a full life without their mobile being right there. It is like another limb. It is not only my lifeline to the rest of humanity, in many an instance it is my brain. All my pertinent information is stored on it. If it wasn’t for my mobile I would forget my date of birth. Honestly I did once forget my year of birth until I looked it up. Probably Freud would have a field day with that. Be that as it may, I really cannot live without it. That is mainly the reason I have two, one main and one back-up. Feeling such attachment to my mobile, it is with some reservation that I have accepted some of its applications. The chat application is now becoming so prevalent, it is like having a conversation on-line. Well actually it is having a conversation on-line.
The problem with this is that it is not always convenient. And when you start it, it is very difficult to convey you want to end it, unless you are very good friends and can just say “Have to go now” or “can’t talk now” and the other party would understand.
There was many an incident when I felt very uncomfortable, but what takes the cake is when I was chatting with an acquaintance who saw herself as the next Egyptian Shakespeare. She is just an acquaintance, so I had to be polite and listen. The trouble is that my Arabic isn’t exactly my strongest suite, and my Classical Arabic is practically non-existent! And she seems to me to have a very strong command of all the most remote expressions in Classical Arabic. She has this strange idea that because I happen to write in English, then I would be very appreciative of her “art”! What can I say? I listen and hem and haw and have nearly run out of generic adjectives that would not expose my total loss at what is being said. I am even now resorting to a thesaurus to find more adjectives that would cover any contingency. But how long can this go on I don’t know, one day I am sure I shall be exposed for the fraud that I am.
The incident that really pushed me to the end of my endurance was when she was writing some love poetry – I knew that, because she told me that was what it was – and insisted on spouting the whole thing at me on the spot. I was at home, but that day I was feeling very poorly and had rather distressing bouts of diarrhea. The worst moment came when she reached the crescendo of the poem and expected my response. I was in the bathroom, twisting in agony with stomach cramps, and had to rack my foggy brain to find a generic adjective to describe her poetry. I fell back to my stock reply and told her that she really is very talented! Thank God that at least with chat there is no sound, or else she would have heard my groans , then the flushing of the toilet. But at last the love poem was done, she was satisfied, and I could finally crawl into bed and die quietly.
This mobile business is extremely intrusive, like when someone calls and you answer when you are in the bathroom and they ask you where are you and what are you doing. You have to use some quick mental maneuvering and say I’m at home talking to you! Such inane answers are taken in stride and quite acceptable. Worse still are those very irritating telemarketing calls that always manage to catch you at the most inconvenient times. I know they are doing a job, but still, while I am washing my dog’s rear end is not the time I would be interested in a list of foodstuffs they want to send me. When I am counting the linen I don’t want to be told the different percentages of interest given by the bank on different accounts. When brisk walking I don’t like to learn about life insurance in case of sudden death.
Yes I know. Why do I keep the mobile with me and why do I answer. It’s a compulsion. I cannot hear a bell ring without picking up. Probably a human version of Pavlov’s experiment. And curiosity. I cannot turn a film off without knowing the end, or not know the ending of a book. Once my cousin’s dog ate the last 50 pages of a 900 page book, he nearly didn’t make it, but my cousin was very quick in getting him away. Yes, Freud would have his work cut out for him with me. My excuse for being so possessive is that mobiles are extremely convenient, handy and in these unsafe times, a lifeline to help. All true, but secretly I know that it is just my addiction which I cover with a high-minded and slightly noble reason.

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