[lit-ideas] Re: more cell phone spottings

  • From: Eric Yost <mr.eric.yost@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 19 Nov 2005 11:06:35 -0500

Judy: Paranoid? Sensible, I'd say. If I think I might be being followed and it's dark I vary my pace, and if there are other people on the street I slow my pace so the man has to pass me.

Eric: I didn't qualify this phenomena enough. These are usually women in their twenties, and Manhattan is very safe (believe it's 55th in crime of any US city and this despite its size). Even at night, Manhattan is well-lit everywhere, has flocks of surveillance cameras, and is heavily patrolled by police. Plus the streets are full of people 24/7 and people here DO help if there's a problem.

I'm not trying to be insensitive to your experience, just to indicate the circumstances are different here. If it were the Bronx or parts of Brooklyn or Queens, the behavior could be sensible. Here it's just plain paranoid.

And what would a cell phone do anyway? At the range where the cell phone defense is employed, a male could grab the cell phone before the woman could dial 911. Unless somebody starts making call phones with tazers in them, they're no more useful than prayer beads.

To me it looks like a symptom of further alienation from one's environment. Fear of strangers abetted by the reflexive use of electronic gadgetry.

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