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the voices in my head
technology bites
by robert a. melos
4.21.07
pop culture

Do you have Bluetooth?

I have Bluetooth. A little over a year and a half ago I didn’t even know what Bluetooth was, or if I really needed it. I remember going into the phone store, one of those national phone stores that sounds like Horizon, and while purchasing a new cell phone because mine had literally fried itself, being asked by the pushy and rather snippy sales clerk if I wanted Bluetooth? Now not knowing what it was, I asked.

She seemed way too impressed with this little thing you hook over your ear to take calls, or perhaps I was just too under whelmed. I don’t know what I was expecting, but somehow a transmitter and receiver that hooks over my ear and works with my cell phone just didn’t impress me. What can I say? After growing up on Star Trek and a multitude of other science fiction programming, this technology just left me flat.

The sales clerk could see it in my face. My expression was one of “oh, that’s nice. You say it fits over my ear and I can talk in it? Oh, how pleasant. I’m sure I need it for something.” Okay, those were my actual words. So I ended up buying this little bullet shaped receiver/transmitter thing-y and taking it home with the rest of my cell phone accessories. The little plastic suit you slip over your phone like a condom so you can clip it to your belt when you don’t have a pocket available or when you want to look important.

I discovered clipping it to my belt usually resulted in my cell phone getting caught in my seatbelt and being pulled from the safety of my waist and flung across my car. I also got the cigarette lighter connector so I could charge my phone in my car, should I be in desperate need of a charge. Pity my cigarette lighter in my car never worked, and since I don’t smoke I never had a need to fix it. I can get it to work if I push it in really hard and hold it in place, but that kind of defeats the purpose of being a convenient accessory.

Another accessory that seems redundant given my purchase of the Bluetooth apparatus is the earplug. The little speaker thing that connects to the phone so you can clip it to you ear, much like the Bluetooth, and plug it into the phone that you conveniently have hooked to your belt and simply chatter away.

Anyway, back to the point. I have this Bluetooth thing-y, and I have only used it once in the last year and a half that I’ve owned it. In fact, it was buried under a pile of junk mail for 5 months until I cleaned off a table and discovered it just lying there. I recharged it and now it’s lying somewhere around my house collecting dust.

Now I’m sure there are plenty of people who use their Bluetooth, (shouldn’t that be Blueteeth?), every day. I know there are because I see them, walking around with little transmitter/receivers hooked to their ears, chattering away unaware how annoying they are to others. They are in their own little worlds, carrying on conversations with whomever, while strolling down streets, in supermarkets, driving, or walking around the office.

Someone will walk past you and say “hello,” and you turn to see who it is, only to discover they are talking on their Bluetooth and serving to confuse you by greeting you as they pass, as if they knew you were thinking they were originally talking to you instead of the non-visible phone person with whom they were really conversing. More than once this has happened to me, walking into my office, nodding to a co-worker and being greeted with an “I don’t know, how about Chinese?” Or, “how are you?”

If I answer either question I’m bound to be stumbling into someone else’s conversation. So in general I appear to be rude and ignore most people after I greet them with a nod or smile. Just today I passed one of my co-workers in a supermarket. “Hi,” I said.

The reply I got was a smile and a, “I’d like to place an order.” Her eyes drifted from mine and she wandered down the aisle blabbering to herself, or to her Bluetooth, looking like she was blabbering to herself.

I really feel I should use my Bluetooth more often, if I can find it, at least when I’m driving; although technically it is against the law to use the headset devices or talk on your phone while driving. I’m sure I could find someplace to use my Bluetooth. Perhaps at the movies? Library?

It does very little good when I’m walking around a large open space because usually the outside noises make hearing on the thing-y difficult. I just hate to have spent money for something I don’t use. I’ve always thought of myself a practical, but the world is an impractical place, and Bluetooth is designed for the modern world.

Well, at least I can say I have Bluetooth technology at my disposal. Sure it’s gathering dust on my dresser, or somewhere around here, but I have it. And that is what it’s all about, isn’t it? Having the most of everything available?


ABOUT ROBERT A. MELOS

Robert is the author of the novels Cool Mint Blue, Melba Ridge, and the recently released The Adventures of Homosexual Man and Lesbian Lad; and the creator of the on-line comix Impure Thoughts found at his web site Inside R.A. Melos, as well as having been an on-line staff writer for QBliss where he had a monthly humor column, Maybe A Yip, Maybe A Yap. In his non-writing time, when he's not studying the metaphysical or creating a tarot deck, he sells real estate in Middlesex County New Jersey, hangs out with his dog Zeus, and spends time at the Pride Center of New Jersey in Highland Park, NJ, where he is on the Board of Trustees.

more about robert a. melos

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