I heard on the radio today that we are in the midst of recognizing a side-effect of the cell phone. It's called "communi-faking." This is when you pretend to be talking on the cell phone even when there is no one on the line. They interviewed several people in their teens and early twenties and many of them admitted that they often "communi-fake" so that they will look busy or more social.
The radio newscast pointed out the irony that cell-phones are actually now interfering with people communicating rather than helping. We use cells to maintain social distance.
A teacher I know recently suggested to some teenage girls that they actually invite friends to a sleepover and spend time together face to face instead of just talking on the cell phone or texting all the time. The girls were very much against the idea, pointing out that if the friend actually came over to the house, they would be stuck with them.
With the cell phone you can keep them at a distance or just simply switch them off.
And now a confession:
Feeling guilty about turning down the cookie peddlers outside King Soopers (boy scouts or girls scouts), not long ago, I did indeed pretend to be using my cell phone so I wouldn't have to feel guilty about turning the cookies down.
Help me. I'm a communi-faker.