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JENNIFER'S GEMS
by Jennifer Brown Banks

Cell Hell: The Sequel
(first Cell Hell Column here)

I think you can tell a lot about a potential partner by their cell phone habits.

Consider this: according to a classic U.C.L.A. study, only 7% of a message is communicated verbally. The other 93% is through non-verbal means. In other words, it’s not just what you say, but how you say it that matters.

I think cell phone usage carries key clues! Did you know that as of the year 2000, there were a reported 100 million cellular phone users?

 

With this in mind, here’s the 411 on various phone personalities, and what you should look out for!

Poor Protocol Paul (Or Paulina)
You know the type. These are the folks who let their cell phones ring loud and loose during important conference meetings, at the movies, while making love, and during sacred services. The reason? Everything is all about them. Characters of this kind are likely to be self-absorbed and a wee bit inconsiderate.
Or minimally, guilty of bad manners.
Unless they happen to be doctors, or they’re waiting to hear from one! Beware of the carrier who’s unconcerned and unconscious of others’ comfort.

The Potential Stalker
Many moons ago, I exchanged phone numbers with a guy who was goo-goo over me, and asked that I give him a call to explore romantic possibilities. Two days later, when he hadn’t heard from me, he called me to bawl me out! (In two days, mind you!)

I explained that I had every intention of calling, but had been very busy with writing projects, teaching, house repairs, etc. And I was… really. He didn’t buy it! To make matters worse, when he didn’t hear from me a week later, he started blowing my phone up like a crack addict trying to connect with his dealer! Needless to say, it didn’t take no crystal ball to predict where a relationship with him woulda’ gone! Future calls from him found me “unavailable.”

The Cheap and the Challenged
Don’t dare have an emergency during daylight hours, or you’ll be up a creek without a paddle! Those in this category are M.I.A. until after 9:00 p.m.: which is when their cell phone minutes are free. Do yourself a favor, and “free” yourself before it costs you!

The Serial Screener
This culprit has phone numbers and corresponding names in codes, won’t answer “private” calls, and always scrutinizes his/her communications. You can best believe it’s usually for 2 typical reasons. They’re usually cheating or hiding out from bill collectors. Better keep your eyes and ears open on this one. Either way, it could mean trouble!

The Exhibitionist
They’re brazen. You can hear them miles away having the most intimate, inappropriate conversations, oblivious to the many ears that are privy to their “pillow talk.” Folks like these are known to kiss and tell. Discretion is definitely not their strong suit!

The Multi-Tasker
The ability to talk on the cell, drive a car, eat, change radio stations, and experience road rage all at the same time distinguishes this individual! Which is not always a bad thing. Multi-taskers are usually effective, bright people with many talents in various areas. In the words of the Verizon commercial “Can you hear me now?”

The Heartbreak Waiting to Happen
You meet at a crowded club, or the local gym, or while running errands. You exchange pleasantries, experience some chemistry, a little conversation, and you feel hopeful! And then he/she gives you their 7 digits. Along with specific instructions of how they can only be reached by cell phone! No work or home number is ever offered. This is one of the oldest games going. More often than not, it translates into a married person in search of some extracurricular fun. Steer clear.

Here are other clues and cues to your potential catch:

Ringtones
When the phone rings, does it play Beethoven? Junk in the Trunk? Achey Breaky Heart? Drop it like it’s hot? Addicted to Love? I wish that I had Jesse’s Girl? Material Girl? Star Spangled Banner? Or Amazing Grace?

Ring tones are the “fashion statements” of cell phone carriers. They say a lot about an individual’s identity, personality and style. (For me, you can’t go too wrong with anybody who loves Beethoven!)

Phone Styles and Features
Another thing worth noting is the style of the phone. Is it sleek and stylish? Does it have games and gadgets? A camera? Text messaging? A designer carrying case? These factors also communicate a thing or two about the owner.

Looking to hook up with that cutie? Before making a decision, make sure you examine their cell phone habits… to avoid a potential “disconnect!”



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Jennifer's Gems is a weekly column written by award-winning poet and writer, Jennifer Brown Banks. It is published every Wednesday. Click here to read her welcome letter.


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