Inside Opinion

What's on the minds of Tacoma News Tribune editorial writers

NOTICE: Inside Opinion has moved.

With the launch of our new website, we've moved Inside Opinion.
Visit the new section.

Bluetooth or the Borg?

Post by Brian O'Neill on April 20, 2010 at 7:56 pm |
April 20, 2010 9:33 pm

For Washingtonians, Bluetooth’s moment arrives on June 10. That’s when it will become a primary offense to drive while operating, or texting on, a cell phone.

If California is any indicator, we will soon be embracing hands-free here. Cheryl Tucker points out that California’s already enacted law has further enabled a culture wherein wireless gadgets dangle from the average Californian’s lobes like a healthy crop of ear hair.

Hopefully the results of these new rules mean an increase in safety, though this is fact or fiction depending on which study you choose to believe.

But no study of which I am aware demonstrates the techno-ear addition for what it is: the most major fashion blunder since Italian men started wearing culottes. Walk along a busy street, or a crowded terminal and you will quickly  see that Bluetooth and its competition have created a growing population of confused cyborgs trying to contact the mother ship through their earpieces.

Having said that, I am sold on hands-free technology. The moment came one day on my I-5 commute when traffic slowed and inevitably stopped. A glance in my rearview mirror showed a car rapidly approaching, with a cell phone-human hybrid driver whose eyes had unfocused in order to concentrate on the phone conversation playing out in mental high-def.

Thirty minutes later, after my vehicle’s bumper had successfully stopped her forward momentum, she stared at the traffic citation in her hand with that same unfocused look. Then she asked the trooper, “What’s this for?”

This ironic moment was brought to you by Bluetooth. You will be assimilated.

*
The News Tribune now uses Facebook commenting on selected blogs. See editor's column for more details. Commenters are expected to abide by terms of service for Facebook as well as commenting rules for thenewstribune.com. Report violators to webmaster@thenewstribune.com.