Friday, July 18, 2008

Resistance is futile.

I've been handsfree on my phones for a jillion years. It just hasn't made sense to me that our ability to type or wash dishes or clean our offices should be impaired by a silly phone handset. But for most of that time I was landline handsfree. Cellular phone handsfree is an different animal: you're out there in public. I remember the first time I saw someone walking in San Francisco on a handfree hookup to his cellphone. On Market Street, passing the homeless people, I saw a well-dressed man talking to himself. The convergence of mental illnesses.

I'm so into handsfree that I can't wait until they implant something in our heads that allows us to connect with people. I believe this will happen in my lifetime.

I'm somewhat suspicious of California's handsfree cellphone law. The state is trying to be business-friendly, and, instead of doing it by changing the business tax structure or something, it's just forcing everyone to buy handsfree kits. Bluetooth headsets abound.

I arrived at a dreaded meeting called by someone who is rather arrogant and certainly interpersonally tone-deaf. He arrived with a Jawbone on his ear. A Jawbone is the one of the flashiest and most expensive of the bluetooth headsets. And he doesn't have much hair, so it wasn't at all subtle.

How do you react to that kind of thing? Was he expecting to receive a phone call in the middle of our meeting? -- How disrespectful! Was he just wearing it to show it off?

As the initial chitchat progressed, I said, "Hey, are you expecting a phone call?" He said no, he wasn't, and kept going. Didn't even take it off. So at this point it's just so he can feel important. To himself, because I've expressed through my question that it's not impressing me.

Yesterday my own bluetooth headset arrived from Amazon ($30 cheaper than Best Buy). I decided that, while I'm happy with my corded handsfree, a wireless headset would get me closer to the brain implant solution. It's tiny, a Motorola M680. (Motorola even makes a women's version of this with pretty vine squiggles!) It's so small that it's not really visible in my hair. (It is also the perfect cat toy: small and shiny with a sproingy plastic curved piece reaching out to goad.) My goal is never to be like this guy in the meeting, wearing a headset because I'm about to talk to someone more important than you.

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