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Sunday, 3 April 2011


I think it was George Bernard Shaw who said; "Telephones rush in where even fools fear to tread". I wonder what he would say about mobile/cell phones? Or would he be speechless.

The first telephone in my parents home was the old crank-handle type, crank the handle and the telephone operator would answer in the exchange; "Number please?". If you were lucky you were put through immediately if not they would call you back later.

There was something very human about that technology. You were actually talking to people, not to some disembodied computer generated voice.

The telephone exchange was the repository of the whole districts news, good or bad. A baby was born, every one knew within hours. Someone died, same story.

With today's technology we have instant access to people no matter where they are, but we are more isolated. You are not safe anywhere even if you switch your phone off, when you switch on, there's the message light flashing.

No time or place is sacred to cell phone, you hear them ringing in church, at weddings and funerals. People seem to think it's fine to interrupt a one on one conversation to answer their phone. The cell phone takes precedence over everyone and every thing.


Gorges Smythe said...

People DO seem to have forgotten simple good manners when it comes to cell phones, and our connectedness IS only an illusion.

I like the philosophy of an old farmer I heard of. The neighbor had pulled his car over to the edge of the road and was chatting with him at the mailbox when the driver heard the phone start ringing incessantly inside the old farmer's home. When he told the farmer to go get it if he wanted, the farmer replied that he had gotten the phone for HIS convenience, not the convenience of OTHER people.

Desiree said...

Oh, I agree with the sentiments expressed here and love the illustration provided by Gorges Smythe. All this instantaneous connection has made us feel we HAVE to respond immediately, but we really don't!

Gaelyn said...

Have to agree with all of this.

John said...

All good points Phillip. I love many of the technolocical advancements intended to "enrich" our lives such as cell phones, GPS, instant messaging etc., but I refuse to become a slave to it or other's reliance upon it to ease the monotony of their over stimulated lives. I'm amazed at the digital quality of MP3 music but still crank up the grammaphone to listen to 40's big bands. Personal knowledge, restraint and spirituality are gained through effort and will never be replaced by technology.

Jo said...

Hi Phil, I loved our weekend away on the island camp, as cell phones were not encouraged. Unlike many other public places you eat at/have your hair done at/ shop at in Kenya, there were no phones ringing and people conversing loudly in public, and there was also NO television. Yay! It was pure bliss. I agree, with Gorges Smythe's farmer: I won't answer my landline or cell phone in company. Fortunately no-one rings me here on camp, but my Kenyan gardener and house-lady both have phones which ring regularly during the day. Amazine that you wrote this post. We were speaking of the "Nommer asseblief" sentrale just last night. The person who was with us said his mum worked there so of course I could tell him a story or two as well! I can remember when Grant phoned me from an army camp tickey box in the late sixties, and I couldn't hear a word he said. I rang the exchange back later and told the operator, to which she replied, "Oh but I heard every word!" Oh, how I loved my childhood! Blessings, Jo

Anonymous said...

I just have to agree with all that is said here pertaining to cell phones and other instant connectivity. Well said, Phillip.

Anonymous said...

I think that is right bout that. Nice info and thanks. Need to get in google feed.

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