Cell phones are a godsend for emergencies. Couples are comfortable leaving children with babysitters knowing they can be contacted immediately. People can go to work even out in the field during a family emergency knowing they can be instantly updated on any changes.
Cell phones have also made our lives much more convenient: Meeting up with someone in a crowded mall or an airport? Talk on the cell phone until you are face to face. Also many of us - especially the young - have fun with instant text messaging. A cell phone is a great medium to send an instant congrats on winning a game or to send a quick message of love or encouragement.
Society is coping with advances in science and technology one by one as their downsides become apparent. Some of the subjects are life or death issues, such as organ transplants from live donors or saving a life when Mother Nature apparently intended otherwise.
The questions raised by cell phones are less dramatic but can be jarring nonetheless. Text messaging can be used to send out word on a gathering taking place at that very moment, which has caused dismay for many a teenage host whose parents trustingly left them home alone.
A recent case in Alamo opened the eyes of many adults as teens gathered at Alamo Plaza for an after-school fight after text messages spread throughout the Monte Vista High School student body. High schools always have had almost sixth-sense telegraphing among the students, with news quickly spreading about anything of interest. Now it's reached a new level and left many of us wondering: Do we need to be quite so in touch?