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Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Ring, ring - and let it ring

Mobile phones are part of our lifestyle, so much so that they compete with fashion items nowadays.

But it is clear that their prevalence changes our communication patterns, and there was the feeling that this could change to the worse. Think about your hair dresser. Before mobile phones came along, you actually talked to the hair dresser - she was something like a brain dump, like an advisor, marriage counsellor, anything. Nowadays, conversations like this don't happen that often anymore. Frequently, the one who gets the hair done, hangs on the phone.

The article describes the situation in restaurants, where you sit with your friend and enjoy a discussion or conversation. "Worse, if I'm having an in-person conversation with you, and you receive a call and smile me off while you talk on the phone, what am I, chopped liver?

And worse than that, if I'm having an in-person conversation with you, and I receive a call on my cell phone, and it distracts me from our conversation, I may lose even more — the crucial point I was just about to convey to you."

Actually, not much has changed. When fixed lines were still the thing to have, a caller had the chance to interrupt diner, television, or whatever was on in the family. However, it was possible to ignore the phone and just get on with your life.

When the mobile phone came along, people started to pick up the phone the moment it rang, or a text message came in. This is what we thought is happening. It seems that the old habits remain, nevertheless.

The article at hand shows that we are entitled to ignore the ringing of the mobile phone. The author says that "among people in their teens and 20s who use cell phones, that this is already coming to be. While not completely comfortable ignoring a ringing cell phone, kids seem much less concerned about offending an unwanted caller by not answering than do older adults. This is likely because, for someone born into the cell phone age, calls are as commonplace as talk and thoughts."

So, now, I lost my train of thought since my phone just rang. Thus, let me just hang up on this entry and get on with my work!

(By Asia Business Consulting)