A silver LG flip phone makes a fake camera-shutter sound.
“I’m not very photogenic!” says blonde girl number one.
“Oh, who cares?” says number two, looking at her friend through the grainy color screen of her camera phone.
I look over in disdain. I imagine my normally anti-violent self swiping the phone from the girl’s hand and smashing it on the floor of the Eliot dining hall, looking her straight in the eye to say, “Stop. Taking. Pictures.”
I have the right to be self-righteous when it comes to camera phones (or anything, for that matter—this is my rant, suckers). My cell phone was manufactured circa 1887. It weighs 18 pounds and runs on Diesel fuel, not unlike a late-model Peugeot. It is utilitarian to the extreme and does its job quite well, thank you.
It does not, however, act as a device of abject barbarism. Camera phone users feel free to take a photograph wherever and whenever they please. I am forced to consolidate my phone usage to quiet corners with high ceilings; otherwise, the antenna might not fit and I wouldn’t be able to hear. Which is to say, I am a very polite and conscientious cell phone user. I mind my business. Why can’t you?
I have no interest in watching you giggle over candids of your Seneca sisters.
You’re not going to catch a burglar or a threesome in the act, so quit it.
Besides, these phones are useless. They take low-quality, low-resolution snapshots that are either promptly deleted or used to send inane messages to another superfluous camera phone (“Yo, this room party in Pfoho was off the chain!”). These are not immortalized memories or family portraits. They are unnecessary invasions of my privacy.
So leave the photos to the digital cameras and get back to text messaging. Maybe everyone should just get a phone like mine—as long as you don’t mind the fumes.