cell phone anti-social behavior
It's unfair to only blame cell phones for rude peoples' behavior. Using a cell phone is only one of many stimuli that influence a person's behavior, the others being their financial situation, whether they're having a good day or a bad day, their breeding, how well-adjusted they are, etc. If they just lost their job they're either going to be eager to talk to strangers or in no mood to talk to a stranger. I think people have become less social as a rule, probably because of the fragmentation of our society and the associated rule of the U.S. by the wealthiest 1% of Americans. They're preoccupied with their own concerns, a factor that contributes to more cell phone use. I've found that people are less trusting of each other than they used to be. They're more distrustful of institutions.
Cell phones can serve to isolate people from each other, but they don't have to. I fully agree with Lee Koo in that regard. It's not how much power the cell phone and other technology, give us that matters. What matters is how we use the technology. I've used a cell phone faithfully since I finally became convinced of the need for one many years ago. It hasn't made me less sociable. I still have no hesitation in going up to strangers and striking up a conversation with them. I'm not bound by social mores and codes and am free to make new friends and acquaintances wherever I go, unlike, for example, men and women looking to meet prospective mates. Having easy access to friends and relatives is actually a disincentive to spend too much of my time speaking with them and not with people I don't know.
If you blame cell phones for our alienation from one another, you're also likely to blame computers, video games and any activity that is individual rather than group-oriented in nature. All of the these technologies can bring us closer together by enhancing communication. We need to learn to use these devices for that purpose rather than for self-absorption. That's why education is important, especially at the elementary and high school levels. It's easy to focus on that goal if we remember this simple but important slogan: In unity there's strength. Put another way: united we stand, divided we fall.