19.353 contemplation and computing

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
Date: Thu, 20 Oct 2005 08:04:31 +0100

               Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 19, No. 353.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                     Submit to: humanist_at_princeton.edu

         Date: Thu, 20 Oct 2005 07:56:04 +0100
         From: Ryan Deschamps <Ryan.Deschamps_at_Dal.Ca>
         Subject: Re: 19.349 contemplation and computing

Regarding the cell phone issue:

Kip Williams (http://williams.socialpsychology.org/) has done some very
interesting studies on Ostracism and its effect on human emotions.

I wonder if a person choosing to speak on a cell phone, rather than interact
with the people on the bus is a form of ostracism. Based on general
social-value systems, interrupting someone on a phone is less acceptable than
interrupting someone in a rather public conversation with a visible
person. At least in the former case, one can find an opportunity to
join in with
commentary or to change the subject. YOu just can't do that to someone with a
cell phone because, as discuss previously, you just can't hear what the other
person is saying.

So the annoyance may be partly the mystery of the "other voice," but it could
also be the social slight -- the disinclusion (ostracism if you will) of "me,"
the non-cell user, from a social interaction (or at least the opportunity of
one) -- This sends a signal that the status of the cell phone speaker is above
my own and of course, my annoyance would increase exponentially the more trite
I perceive the cell phone conversation to be.

That I would actually want to have a conversation with the cell user would be
besides the point. The point is that the cell phone removes the general
control I have of my social circumstances and thus increases my anxiety. What
is needed is some kind of social standard that makes it acceptable to interrupt
a cell phone call. Difficult, since most of us grew up with family members
telling us to "Shut up I'm on the phone!"

Ryan. . .

Ryan Deschamps
Received on Thu Oct 20 2005 - 03:22:59 EDT

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