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Monday, July 7, 2008

Gorillas using Cell Phones

When Apple's first generation Iphone was released it seemed that everyone in Aventura had it. The Apple store in the Aventura Mall was out of stock and the people kept coming in asking for it. The popularity of this phone proved there really is a cell-phone craze. Cell-phones have become a status symbol, causing a high demand to own the most recent and most expensive phone.

I've noticed that Iphone owners never keep the phone in their pocket when at a meeting, having coffee, or at a restaurant. The phone is placed on the table in front of its owner where everyone can see it. It's a cool phone and a great conversation piece; however, let's remember it's a phone and nothing more. Yes it has cool features and you can surf the net, but there's no real reason why every six months people feel like they need to buy the new "it" phone.

I've been reading some articles about potential consequences about our thirst for more cell-phones - click here to read the National Geographic article. I discovered that there is a mineral known as coltan, a mineral extracted in the deep forests of Congo in Africa. This location is also the home of the world's endangered lowland gorillas. This mineral is essential to cell-phone technology and its high demand is slowly destroying the natural habitat of gorillas and funding a brutal civil war in Democratic Republic of Congo.

The connection between war, gorillas and cell phones surprised me. I wonder why this is never spoken about on the news or a popular topic of everyday conversation? We use cell phones everyday and everyone I know has one, so I guess it's not something tech lovers want to hear. There's so much money in this cell phone revolution that I wouldn't be surprised if these companies have actively suppressed this topic from becoming mainstream. Check out the video on YouTube - http://youtube.com/watch?v=-QwI2O1_HlI

Watch these two videos and decide what's an important focus.

I have a Blackberry and don't plan on giving it up soon, but this situation certainly resonates in my head each time the phone rings. I'm going to research this issue more and maybe I'll give up my cell phone. It'll be great to have piece of mind again - no 24/7 constant contact. Also, without the cell phone maybe people will actually commit to a plan of when and where to meet.

Remember before cell phones you'd call someone and make plans to meet and they'd show up there. Now, we say "call me when you're in the area and we'll figure out a place and time." Even more frustrating are the cancellations. If you made plans to meet before the cell phone age and you called to cancel but get no answer, you knew you had to meet up unless it was a real emergency. Now people feel like they can always call and cancel or be late because they have the option to leave a message or tell you an excuse. These are the times and it's bad for business and relationships.

Do some Google searches about gorillas and cell phones, you be the judge. Pass it on and spread the word. Now you might think twice about showing off your new cell phone.

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