Beware of the Jerk-O-Meter

I thought we'd kick off the weekend on a lighter note. It turns out that some researchers at MIT are developing a tool to help make cell phone users more socially aware. The Jerk-O-Meter would rate how engaged a caller is in the conversation.

It's funny and sad at the same time. I love technology. I can't leave my house without my cell phone. I use it as much for calls as for text messages. But, do we really need a device to let us know if people are engaged. I know when it's happening and I know when I'm doing it.

No technological device can replace the understanding that comes from basic human interaction.

Have a great weekend!


At 8/12/2005 06:54:00 PM, Blogger Ilaiy said...

Wonderful link .. I "wish i had a hammer" to break these devices ..


At 8/12/2005 07:41:00 PM, Blogger mlwhitt said...

Say that mentioned on Slashdot.org but didn't check it out. I will be sure to check it out.

By the way Lores, I would love to hear what you think about the Sheehan family's letter denouncing Cindy Sheehan's protesting the Iraq War.


At 8/12/2005 07:46:00 PM, Blogger Lores Rizkalla said...

mlwhitt, i almost wrote about Sheehan today. i'll do it soon!

At 8/12/2005 08:53:00 PM, Anonymous Newman said...

I think I have a built-in Jerk-O-Meter. I know if someone is engaged, and the conversation doesn't last too long if one of us is not. But hurrah for text messaging - perhaps the most concise form of communication yet, provided we also include some actual conversation in there somewhere (i.e. talks over phone or coffee).

At 8/12/2005 08:58:00 PM, Blogger Lores Rizkalla said...

ilaiy: funny...and welcome!

newman: agreed. i can always tell when there's distraction on the other end. and, yes, i am a bit of a text messaging queen. but, that cannot replace real conversation :)

At 8/12/2005 09:00:00 PM, Blogger Lores Rizkalla said...

and welcome to newman too! :)

At 8/12/2005 09:14:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a thought...As I pondered the idea of a technical "engaged police", I was saddened by the felt need for intimacy, for being involved, for kind and courteous behavior. It sometimes feels that the more connected we become, through technilogical advances, the more we really are becoming disconnected. Don't get me wrong; I love my cell phone, voice mail, e-mail, etc. It's convenient and allows me to stay in touch in a greater way than past generations. However, technology can never replace relationships. It's up to us, as a culture, to prize and value realness and to pay the price of being involved.

At 8/12/2005 09:50:00 PM, Blogger Poison Pero said...

I have to admit, I'm terrible on the phone.....AT HOME!

I'm on the phone all day (patients, vendors, insurance companies, dr's, etc), and am on call for my office 24/7.....I can't stand it when my phone rings at home.

My friends and family know not to call me past 8pm.......And my daughter's freinds have learned the hard way to give it a break.

I suppose I'd be at the top of the Jerk-o-Meter.

At 8/12/2005 11:49:00 PM, Anonymous KO said...

Why limit the "jerk-o-meter" to just a cell phone? It's just as bad to be on your house phone and have the other person "uh-huh" in the wrong place (while you hear a tv on in the background) or hear the clicking of computer keys through the line! I too am a fan of the old fashioned face to face conversation. Having said that, though, text messaging has got to be one of the best inventions yet!

At 8/13/2005 04:54:00 AM, Blogger Mark said...

I can usually tell when a woman is engaged, she likes to show off her ring!

At 8/13/2005 04:56:00 AM, Blogger Mark said...

Lores, I wrote about Ms. Sheehan today


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