Can a mobile phone help get you laid?
November 16, 2000 11:41 AM   Subscribe

Can a mobile phone help get you laid? Then it makes sense that they should be for adults only, but 1 in 5 US teenagers own one and it's not just the radiation that is dangerous.
posted by john (20 comments total)

I'm not sure what's more disturbing -- the fact that there are people who parade their mobile phones around like some kind of status symbol (In 2000? Even janitors have cell phones now!), or the fact that there are women who would actually find this alluring.
posted by Byun-o-matic at 11:57 AM on November 16, 2000

byun, it's subtler than that. I don't think there's anything wrong with acknowledging that we're hard-wired for certain things, and whether it's a cell phone, a fancy car, or the biggest farm in the county, status is something that women tend to seek in mates -- some more rationally than others. You see it in high school, and you see it in adults.

The cell phone is less monetary status, though, than social status. It says "I have friends, I can call up someone and find a party, I am not a loner, I have a life outside this bar." Even if it's unconscious, it's clearly a message that has meaning.
posted by dhartung at 12:04 PM on November 16, 2000

The NY Times article from which The Register rather snarkily cribbed takes it a lot more seriously. Of course, the Times itself was cribbing from a journal called Human Nature.
posted by dhartung at 12:08 PM on November 16, 2000

I do understand that such behavior is largely instinctual. I guess what I'm really bemoaning is that fact itself. We should be better than this! We should rise above our evolutionary heritage! We went to the Moon, dammit! How can we ever become godlike masters of the cosmos if we can't even get over our animal impulses?
posted by Byun-o-matic at 12:22 PM on November 16, 2000

On a related note I recently saw a news item that stated that while teenage cell phone use went up, cigarette smoking went down. The researchers argued that cell phones helped make teenagers feel sufficiently adult enough that cigarettes were not not necessary to help them feel more grown up.
posted by terrapin at 12:29 PM on November 16, 2000

But we are animals. Our basic drive is to survive, then to procreate. In procreation, we look for the best mate possible -- social status being a part of that. After all, if the dad's a loser, the kids have a good chance of being losers, and losers don't get dates (vicious cycle, huh?).

Of course, I'd never date someone who brandished his cell phone. That's just tacky.
posted by billybunny at 12:33 PM on November 16, 2000

That first article is so incredibly dumb.. I have a cell phone and I don't necessarily flaunt it, but I do tend to put it on the table when I sit down. You want to know why?

'cause it's uncomfortable having that antenna jabbing into my leg when I sit down. Yes! It's a matter of comfort! Not trying to show off my phone. I've got better things to do.

And guys play with their phones because that is what guys do. We fidget. We can't sit still in one place.
posted by PWA_BadBoy at 12:37 PM on November 16, 2000

i agree with pwa_badboy... i put my cellphone on the table because of the same reasons...

besides... if i get a call, i don't want to look like a dork while thrusting my pelvis out from the seat of my chair so i can straighten out my leg and yank the phone from my left pant pocket. (i know... it's easier to stand up... but i'm lazy)

...and contrary to what anyone may think about my social life with a cellphone on my person... i have no friends.
posted by ajbriones at 12:45 PM on November 16, 2000

Now I get it! these guys have penis envy!
posted by Jeremy at 12:53 PM on November 16, 2000

You could always get a belt clip for your phone, but then you'd look like a dork.
posted by gyc at 1:13 PM on November 16, 2000

I don't find cell phones attractive. I find public cell phone use to be generally annoying. someone who appears to be either flaunting their cell phone or carrying on large numbers of cell conversations in public is, in fact, a turn off.

just another data point.

posted by rebeccablood at 1:15 PM on November 16, 2000

I still stand by my oath not to get a cell phone until they can reliably embed a chip in my right ear and a chip in my rightmost-farthest-back molar.

When all you cool, grown up looking kids are keeling over from brain cancer, I'll stand over top your melted skulls with my old-fashioned cigarettes-make-me-cool-lung cancer, and wheeze out a triumphant guffaw at your expense.

(Up until the cancer from the radiation in the chip drastically accelerates the tumors already growing behind my eyes from staring at my monitor for 12 hours a day and I collapse atop you, but at least I'll be wheezing gleefully as I go! :-)
posted by cCranium at 1:17 PM on November 16, 2000

PWA and ajbriones make perfect sense. Women keep their cell-phones stashed because they have somewhere to stash them. The solution: men can start carrying purses. Sometimes a cell phone is just a cell phone.

posted by frykitty at 1:25 PM on November 16, 2000

I confess -- the real reason I'm ticked off by this article is that I've had a cool cell phone for almost a year now and people still think I'm a dork. But then, I don't really show it off in public, so maybe I'm just not "selling" my cell phone enough. Does anyone have tips on how I can better utilize my hi-tech gadgets to boost my dwindling social life?
posted by Byun-o-matic at 1:38 PM on November 16, 2000

Cell phones are absolutely ubiquitous here in the UK, as i discovered about ten seconds after i arrived. I am the only person i hang out iwth here who does not have one, and these people are almost all ex-pats like me, who have no real use for one. But they're just icredibly cheap.

They're also the bane of every professors existence. About two or three go off every lecture.
posted by dcodea at 1:48 PM on November 16, 2000

Well, usually when you take the metro, scream and yell things like 'sell 500' 'buy 10,000' 'fuck, you, you're fired!' It's the coolest these days. I have one, and for some reason, maybe it's all these anti-cell-in-public articles, am ashamed to use it.
posted by tiaka at 1:48 PM on November 16, 2000

If you're feeling your phone just isn't doing the trick try adding a pager to the mix of things.
posted by dustinsyb at 1:50 PM on November 16, 2000

... and a RIM pager and a Palm Pilot/Handspring Visor. :)
posted by PWA_BadBoy at 3:54 PM on November 16, 2000

What's really scary is that I understood the term "Lekking Devices" before reading the footnote. (I just finished reading Matt Ridley's The Red Queen, which I recommend to everyone.) Now there's a business name waiting for the incorporation papers to be filed.

Of course, every guy knows that just having a phone isn't enough to pick up the chicks. It's important to have the right phone.

posted by kindall at 5:18 PM on November 16, 2000

Well, y'know, it's funny. I carried my cellphone *in my pocket*, until they stopped being a status symbol; now I have a belt case. And everyone has Motorola Advisor's (alpha pagers) these days.

But you know what really drew a crowd? My Motorola PageWriter 2000 -- the Barbie Laptop. *Damn* was that thing popular... :-)

But *EXPENSIVE* (try $50 a month).
posted by baylink at 8:21 PM on November 17, 2000

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