Friday, March 14, 2008

Cell Phone Musings

Credit and Copyright: P. Berlind & P. Challis

I have heard so many complaints about people talking on cell phones in public. I don't really care if both people in a conversation are present or not. If no one is cursing or creating a disturbance, I really don't care.
Years ago, if you were in a crowd,you were part of a stream of humanity. The Walkman changed that. You could in a manner of speaking be in the same movie as everyone else but have a separate soundtrack. The CD Walkman, and MP3 players made it possible to carry a larger selection of music on the street. I-pods and devices that have multiple gigabytes of storage capacity make it possible to create your own digital world as you walk through a common physical space with others. The cell phone completes this separation from the surrounding stream of humanity in the streets of a city. Where I used to visualise a current of humanity coursing through the streets, now I see bubbles in space with a person in the middle of each of them. There is a man in the street standing at the tip of an iceberg, and those who can reach him through text messaging or the human voice.
Without my cell phone or MP3 player, I feel a sense of solitude in the crowd without my techno-bubble.
On a practical note, I wonder what effect cell phones have on crime. To "drop a dime" on a crime in progress, you once had to find a phone booth. Now you flip open your cell phone, and maybe even take a picture.
Sometimes people get mugged for their $800.00 cell phones. How hard would it be to have a junky cell phone for street conversation and a luxury model that are both on the same line? A cell phone can attract class envy. But that's a whole new article.
Copyright 2008 by Magdeburger Joe Sphere: Related Content

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