technology

What would life be like without mobile phones?

mobilephone.jpg
Written by Isobelle Mallinson

Individuals today would probably struggle to imagine life without a mobile phone.

Individuals today would probably struggle to imagine life without a mobile phone. The absurdity of sending a letter and not receiving a reply for a week would send many young people into a disbelieving and terrified moment of hysteria.

Living in a society where a message can be sent in a second, communication has become instant. Especially for people under the age of twenty five – any form of none instant ways to interact is hard to fathom.

Ask any eighteen year old today how they speak to their friends and you will receive a barrage of communication forms, all of which are instant and conducted through a mobile phone. Whether it is iMessage, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Whatsapp, Blackberry Messenger or the lowly old text message – people are unwilling to wait more than 60 seconds for replies to their demands.

The media constantly barrages us with distasteful views on society’s dependency on mobile phones, suggesting that in a world where people are lost in technology – they will eventually forget how to actually talk.

In 2014, even the telephone call is considered archaic – especially the landline call. Sadly, talking face to face or hearing another’s voice on the telephone has become decidedly alien to many people, especially the younger generation.

In addition to the methods of communication mobile phones provide there is also the prevalence of internet usage on mobile phones. Whether it is an iPhone or an android device, the invention of the Smartphone allows users to check and send emails, access their social media accounts and use a multitude of games and apps at the click of a button.

A dependent culture

Such accessibility creates intensive dependency—people using these facilities in 2014 appear to find it challenging to consider life without these technological additions.

Don’t get me wrong – I rarely have my iPhone out of my hand but I believe I am quite old fashioned in my views regarding technological and social media dependency. I think that the power of proper phone calls and a heartfelt letter are decidedly relevant in today’s society – people need to stop rejecting the more personal forms of communication.

I would imagine that if young people in 2014 were told to live without their phones for a week, they would struggle enormously. Unable to communicate in an instant, check their social media accounts and use the advantageous foray of apps – phone conscious individuals would struggle with the lack of communication and the feeling of ‘missing out.’

With communication being instantaneous it is often promoted that leaving your phone unattended for 5 minutes results in a wealth of missed contact and social updates. This reliance on mobile communication has meant that society is forever ruled by social media and the presence of mobile phones. Information is transferred quicker, pictures are sent within seconds – such speed is not always a good thing though when it comes to sensitive news stories and privacy.

Looking back to the time when communication was lengthy and involved, it is clear to see why some relationships had more communicative meaning. A long loving love letter and one phone call a week accentuate the longevity and commitment couples share. In modern day Britain, lovers can communicate 24/7, this is both advantageous but also problematic.

Although being able to communicate with family, friends and lovers is helpful and enjoyable, there are certain problems with readily available communication. Relationships can be problematic when they begin online, instant communication allows people to use their phone to talk at length to people they have never met before – which will always come with its risks.

Chaos off screen

Text messages also often can cause problems, having an argument over text rather than face to face can cause misunderstanding and dysfunction. Similarly, text messages are ambiguous – you never really know what someone is trying to say without facial expression.

Despite the problems caused by instantaneous communication via mobile phones and their obvious dependency, people continue to live their lives through that little lit up screen. Whether it is Twitter or Instagram, Facebook or Imessage – you would be hard pressed to find an individual who has not kowtowed to the tantalising world of instant communication.

I believe that if people had their mobile phones removed for just one day that chaos would ensue. People would panic at the thought of slow, detailed communication and the inability to check social media and their emails every second minute.

Despite the anxiety and disarray of mobile phone removal, I believe that society will restore some positive values – the ability to talk at length with someone, to explain using speech rather than text and maybe people will realise the beauty of interacting face to face, like humans were intended.

What do you think? Have your say in the comments section below.

Image: Specious / Wikimedia Commons