Mobile Menace

I often think that the world would be better off if mobile phones hadn’t been invented.

Now, don’t get me wrong – I have got one, and I do find it useful much of the time. But there’s something quite disturbing about the fact that anyone get hold of you anywhere, any time. What happened to time to yourself? I find mobiles particularly annoying when someone in my train carriage has a loud personal conversation on a mobile all the way through the journey.

I can remember pre-mobile days. If you were going to be late meeting someone because the train was delayed, they just had to wait for you. When you went on holiday, you were on holiday; the office couldn’t phone and harass you (not that my current employer does this, but previous ones have done).

It also makes things more difficult with writing. If you are writing about contemporary characters, they are going to have mobile phones, unless you can come up with a really good reason for them not to – like Jim Butcher’s wizard Harry Dresden. Magic interferes with electronic equipment, so he can’t use mobile phones. Genius. Makes life much harder for Harry Dresden, and hence a more interesting story.

When a character’s got a mobile phone, it’s too easy for them to phone for help to get them out of a sticky situation. Both my actress amateur sleuth and my supernatural private eye have mobiles, but they both have to be remarkably absent-minded – leaving the mobile at home or switching it off and then forgetting about it. Otherwise, there’d be too many occasions when the character learns news that I really don’t them to find out about until later. Not to mention how much it would spoil my action scenes, if they could phone for help at the crucial moment.

Yes, I do wonder how different the world would be if mobile phones didn’t exist. In some ways, it might be a better place.

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1 comment so far

  1. Clair Dickson on

    I still chose when to answer my cell (mobile) phone and when not to. I’ve been known to be sitting at my computer, playing Bejeweled and still not answer it.

    I look at phone calls as an invitation. You are inviting me to a conversation. I may decline, by letting it go to voice mail.

    I think we have to learn not to let our appliances dictate our lives. Though, I don’t do so good ignoring email… 😉


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