Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Hell Phones

I found this article on Wired Magazine, I couldn’t help but to laugh even though most of the things that this guy pointed out are true. He talks bad about cell phones and the negative influences that has in our lives. Here are some:

INTERRUPTABILITY - Phones have always been interrupting machines. Like a screaming baby demanding to be fed, a phone demands your attention as soon as it rings. It requires you to be interruptible. And a hell phone, unlike a house phone, tags along with you wherever you go, nagging.

HEALTH HAZARD - Your hell phone may or may not give you brain cancer, but it certainly increases the quantity of microwaves being pumped through the air. What's more, like any electronic device, it's difficult to recycle.

Then there's all the cultural pollution hell phones are responsible for: annoying ring tones, or those loud conversations you're forced to listen to. These social aggravations affect your health by raising your stress levels; the confrontations they can spark with your fellow citizens can come to blows. Not healthy!

SURVEILLANCE - A hell phone is a device you carry that, when switched on, tells a satellite exactly where you are every few seconds. It's a device with a microphone in it that can transmit all it hears even when you're not consciously making a call. You don't have to be super-paranoid (or bin Laden) to see how this compromises your privacy, and you don't have to read very far in the newspapers to see how little we can trust governments these days not to use, misuse and hoard whatever information they can get on you.

DESIRE - Compare them with plain old cameras, computers, watches or any other once-desirable gadget and there's no competition; it's quite clear that the all-consuming, all-converging hell phone is the star of the store, the only machine that's truly compulsive at this point.

The hell phone is where the most passionate consumer desire resides right now, and where all the design ingenuity is going. It's just a shame that so few people seem to know the designer's name: Satan.

Even though this guy made all these negative remarks about cell phones, I have to admit that I can’t live with out it. In a tough situation it can actually save your life if we think about it. Do we have any cell phones haters here?...


Blogger Professor Melis said...

I'd like to see how this relates to visual communication--has VC played a role in creating the "desire" the author speaks about? How can such desire be fostered or fought?

9:39 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

I think all you educators can relate to this video.

Check it out

9:10 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

To me it's totally advertising and the group mentality. Compare it to the growing surge in Ipod culture that we see today. So, I guess VC is related in that someone creative in an advertising environment came up with the campaigns. I haven't the slightest clue how to fight it. I see it only getting worse. The damn things are pretty much microcomputers already. What's next? Does creating ads for cellphones rank on the same ethical level as booze and cigarettes? Probably not, but it's getting there.

I was studying in the UK in 2000 and was amazed at how EVERYONE from adult to child had a cell phone. It was only a few years later that the trend hopped the pond to the US. At the time it disgusted me and I questioned why we as a society needed to have cell phones. Didn't life exist just fine before technology? But alas, after a valiant last stand, I too am one of the "cell phone flock". But, I will mention that my ringer is a "ring" not some stupid rap song :)

9:20 PM  
Blogger Ruthy said...

Thanks for your comment Eric I think you made a good point. We as VC can relate to this issue because we are the ones that advertise this product. Often times is not so much the product itself but the way that is being advertise that makes the costumer buy the product.

Especially here in America advertising has gone too far, in Mexico where I grew up less than 10% have cell phones and it's because is not being advertised as much. Back home we see cell phones as a privilege more than anything else.

12:30 PM  

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