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Can You Hear Me Now?

In major New York news this week, it was announced that cell phone service would be coming to 30 more subway stations (predominantly on the west side, of course) as the city plans to continue to roll out the service until it is available in all the subway stations by the year 2016 (yes, even in Brooklyn and Queens). 


Photo by Hugh Han on Unsplash

I suppose they would have announced service on the east side too but then realized that they don’t have any trains running there yet let alone a need for cell phone service. Now while I’m sure for most of us this is welcome news, I suppose, as with anything else, there are pros and cons to this whole thing. 

For example, whether you consider this revelation a pro or con depends entirely on the type of call you anticipate receiving. If it’s your boss calling to ask you about the days “deliverables,” then it’s definitely a con. If it’s that cute girl you met at your friend’s party last week who you’d been hoping would call you back, then it’s probably a pro.

Now I’m not one of those fuddy-duddies who bemoans technology and how it’s taking over our lives, but I will say that there’s something for the fact that for many of us being underground was one of the few times we were actually “forced” to not be on our phones and perhaps engage the outside world, stop and smell the roses (or rat feces in this case), and maybe even read a book. 

Well, now all that wishful thinking is out the window because why read a book when you can be on Instagram or Vine? So far AT&T and T-Mobile are the first to market making their service available on the subways. Now AT&T I get, but T-Mobile, really?!? Wouldn’t it make sense that they focus their efforts on getting their phones to work above ground before trying to do so underground? 

Coming from a guy who was a lifelong T-Mobile customer till I moved to New York and was forced to switch because their service here is so bad, I think they need to get their priorities straight.

I suppose one added benefit of this is that now when some of my friends, who are notoriously always late, say that they are “on the train” there might actually be some truth to the statement. In the past “on the train” was basically code for “I haven’t left my house yet” because the mere fact that you’re texting me lets me know that wherever you are it sure ain’t on the train. 

However, I suppose now I will be forced to at least give them the benefit of the doubt. I’m not sure how I feel about that.

So is all this hoopla about having cell phone service underground that big of a deal when you put it in perspective? I suppose it is but then when you consider the fact that for a while now this has been standard practice in a number of different countries, it makes you wonder why New York City of all places is so late to the party.

Aren’t we supposed to be at the forefront when it comes to things like this?I mean, okay the Asian countries we get, they are always going to pave the way in these kinds of things, but then we’re also talking about countries like Sweden and Argentina here that have had this service for a while now. 

I mean c’mon, Argentina is technically a third-world country. So much for being ahead of the curve…

Featured Image by Jim Reardan on Unsplash

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