CAIRO: It has become a fashion item. Their capabilities are forever being expanded and technology convergence has never been better exploited. Their modulation has seen them demonstrate intelligence, intuitiveness and some would say emotional tendencies too.
The smart phone can now browse the internet and organize your day. It can play games, music or video clips and they all have cameras.
Mobile phone manners are becoming more important the more saturated their markets become. Personal conversations aired at inappropriate volumes are being tolerated less as more establishments adopt technology to jam their use at libraries and movie theaters.
Though they are less common in North America, market penetration in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa has seen the mobile phone evolve into distinct breeds. What began as a portable electronic device is now a chocolate bar, clam shell or brick. If you’re North American you say candy bar, flip phone and cinderblock.
There is also the slide and razor phone. The latter, according to some television commercials, fits in the back pocket of your jeans. They must have edited the next scene where the model tries to sit down.
Its varied history began in the 1950’s but it was not until the dawn of the 80’s that hand-held mobile devices called phones appeared amongst us. Their low overheads meant they were rapidly deployed and were just as rapidly followed by the networks that carry them. They have spread so well that they have been outstripping the growth of fixed-line telephony.
The third generation of the species has been upon us for some time but is still trying to make an impression. In the meantime, we’ll be able to become accustomed to mobile phone culture.
We’re already used to text messaging and forwarding pictures, video clips or voicicals. These facilities have spawned consequences that society at large is struggling to fathom.
Flash mobbing started a couple years ago; masses of people text messaging each other with a particular time and location to be at. Not to do anything in particular though. One incident saw nearly 500 people appear at a department store. They couldn’t even close the store, never mind sell anything.
A tad more malicious were last year’s happy slapping incidents as they have been called. What started as a playground prank became a crime wave. Hitting a mate over the head and photographing his reaction turned into people using their cameras to video people while being mugged.
Mobile phones have entered our language and culture and many would claim that they don’t remember how they managed without them. Many are alive who don’t even remember a mobile phone free world. Over zealous parents are assigning their children a phone as soon as they can complete sentences. It doesn’t guarantee their safety. Said parents will be guaranteed fights over phone bills however.
Making appointments used to be simple. You would arrange to meet, then you’d set off, then you would meet. Now I have to receive and send a dozen messages, a few missed calls and then listen to the obligatory “the number you have dialed is out of coverage every other time I try. At least people have stopped futilely honking their car horns as a means of announcing their arrival at a friends place.
Polyphonic means an ability to play many musical notes at the same time. This development has proved that phones should never have been given the ability to make any sound whatsoever. The best ring tone always has been, and will continue to be, ring ring.
Each reiteration of the mobile phone will bring more amazing bangs and whizzes. Don’t let this confuse you. You may not even need one. Society may not be ready for the mobile phone but the mobile phone is ready for you.