Man’s Best Friend


Springboro's Guy Pasvogel, published author, shares his thoughts

SPRINGBORO, OH --For those of you that are pet lovers and are expecting a warm and fuzzy article about dogs, please accept my humblest apology. Don’t get me wrong, I love dogs and have a strong affection for the canine creatures that patrol my neighborhood. That is, until they crap on my lawn. 

In fact, I do not even blame the innocent dogs who are just having to relieve themselves at a most inopportune time in my front yard. I blame the owners that do not pick up the doo. Then, the next time when I mow the lawn, I have to clean up the brown mess on my lawn mower tires (or worse yet, on my tennis shoes). But I digress…

Today, we as a society have a new “Man’s Best Friend” (and “Woman's Best Friend”).  And, it is NOT a dog. 

So, what has taken over number one in the best friend competition? The cell phone.

Yes, in the last thirty years, poor Fido has been relegated to number two in popularity. More people own cell phones than dogs by a longshot. 

While walking the dog, many owners have one hand on the leash and the other holding a cell phone to their ear. No hands left for poop cleaning. 

If you wonder why your dog is sleeping in the corner and ignoring you, it is probably because you are texting or talking to someone. Either that or you are hitting the facebook app looking for more “superficial friends.”

Nowadays, cell phone usage has become an addiction! We have a tendency where we cannot put it down for fear of missing an important message (FOMO, “fear of missing out”). Bluetooth technology has enabled a person to talk on the phone with earplugs and no hands.

Women store their phones in their back jeans pocket, thus inventing the new term “butt call” when your butt decides to order a pizza or call hubby.

Have you ever walked into a restaurant and watched a couple on date night or a family of four all looking down and not talking to one another? No, they are not reading the menu but are on their cell phones checking for messages or scanning their apps.

Isn’t it amazing that some people have to sleep closer to their cell phones at night than they do to their partner? Not too romantic and definitely not healthy.

Want to do taxes? There is an app for that. Want to add or subtract? There’s an app for that. Want a clock complete with alarm and timer? There’s an app for that. Want a calendar to plan your day? There’s an app for that. Want to break up with your boyfriend or girlfriend? Sorry, no app for that. A simple text will do the trick.

A few years back, I decided to go to a Bengals game and bought a ticket on Stubhub, a ticket app. Unfortunately, my cell phone was not the latest or greatest, and I could not download my ticket. I had to go to the ticket window and show identification and prove that I bought the ticket. Only then would they issue me an old fashioned paper ticket to gain admission. Imagine that…

So now in order to alleviate this ordeal, I have to buy a $200 phone that accepts the Stubhub app download. I only paid $60 for the ticket! As a side note, I am charged an exorbitant service fee to pay for the privilege of buying from them.

Whatever happened to the good old days when you could go up to the ticket window and buy a paper ticket? I feel sorry for the many ticket scalpers that earned a living selling tickets on game day only to be run out of business by cell phones.

Texting on cell phones while driving has become so much of a safety issue that the State of Ohio will now fine you up to $150 plus two points for a first offense. That reminds me of a sign I saw on a church billboard which read, “Honk if you love Jesus, text if you want to see Jesus.”

So far, I have listed the many inconveniences that the cell phone revolution has brought on. You might counter with the argument that cell phones have given society better means of communication… I beg to differ. To me, the best form of communication between people is face to face, not on a cell phone. 

When we interact with someone in person, true meanings can be conveyed. If a thought is misinterpreted, it can be discussed and corrected in an instant. When we send a text to someone, it is so easy for a message to be misconstrued. We lose the inflection of voice and body language in the communication. We do not have eye contact. It might take a day or two and many texts back and forth if there is a misunderstanding.

We tend to stress out and maybe even lose sleep over it. Believe me, I’ve been there more than once.

True love and friendship are conveyed in person. Words in text form do not convey feelings which can only be shown by hugs and kisses. ILY (I love you), K (kiss), H (hug) and MUU (miss you) don’t cut it.

Which brings us back to who is man’s true best friend, dogs or cell phones? To me, the answer is clear. I would rather have a slobbering lick or a wag of the tail than a text.

If dogs could text you back, they wouldn’t. Fido wins, paws down!

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