So I’m here with Mr. Cell Phone, who received his Masters from Harvard in technology and communication, to talk about his past, some changes in the last twenty years, and the outlook for the future. We may get a bit personal, but that’s just part of the job for Mr. Phone. He doesn’t mind talking about his family (to an extent), but sometimes he says, “Others talk too much about theirs.”
Me: Tell us a little about yourself, please.
Cell: I’d prefer you leave the ‘little’ pun out of your question. Size matters you know and it affects my work. I’m constantly having to change to fit others needs, but here’s a little history. My great, great…grandfather born in the 1940s, the one still around to watch Morse code go the way of the dinosaurs, used to tell stories of his travels in work trucks. Work was slow, the equipment heavy, and usage regulated until technology could catch up with demand – which may never happen.
Me: What was it like for you growing up?
Cell: I’m a Motorola flip-phone born in the 80s. I was the first truly portable phone and was popular for a few years. The next generation would have lots of improvements – I was proud, naturally. We would evolve to have display screens. Nokia was the competition with its simple style and constant advancements – MP3 player, color screen, the camera…then came the slider and the qwerty keyboard.
Me: What is one of your favorite memories?
Cell: The invention of text-messaging in the early 90s. It gave my keys more of a purpose and gave my screen a break from all that hot air and facial sweat. Today’s phones are more lightweight and their batteries more efficient. I wasn’t used to being talked on that much, but my battery had to work a lot harder. Today’s batteries have to work cooler or they would overheat from all the input and overload of output that’s expected from them.
Me:Tell us about a bad memory.
Cell: My grandson, as small as he was, born in the new millennium would be taken for granted. He was gifted around Christmas to some over-privileged girl with a big purse full of hazards. His screen was scratched, his hinges were coming loose, his buttons dirty, and one day while she was out shopping she left him in a dressing room. As much as he enjoyed the painlessness of not being in her bag or next to her screeching voice, he had never been alone before – and that scared him most. Without her payment plan he was useless, but that allowed him to find his way home. We still wonder if that girl even missed him.
Me: What is one lesson you want future generations to pass onto their kids?
Cell: I want there to be a day when humans give us a break. We work so hard all the time and are having to be constantly plugged in. We are blamed for all the deaths caused on the road by people using us and not paying attention to the dangers around them. I enjoyed the simple, quiet lifestyle that I grew up with. Now phones have so many lights, beeps, apps, and nonsense – it’s ridiculous and no wonder people have attention deficit disorders. I want the next generation to help solve this problem by making their owners more aware of their usage habits and giving them ways to communicate more safely.
Me: What is a great lesson you have learned?
Cell: Once introduced to something at the right time (take the electric car for example) people have no self-control in their use of it. I’ve learned that technology and advancement are great, but that their should be education with it so that users learn to appreciate the time and money that went into development. They can appreciate the cost that becomes cheaper as engineers formulate new ways to make things lighter and more efficient.
Me: What is one thing you don’t want to see happen?
Cell: The implantation of phones into the skin. People need to know when enough is too much. They already have identification chips in their pets and so many are willing to separate themselves far from the animal kingdom and treat different species accordingly. But maybe it would be a good thing if it would bring some compassion, but I already have a tracking device in me. I don’t want to ‘become one’ with another of a different species. Oranges and lemons on the same tree – fine, putting a camera in me – fine, but putting me in a person – weird and illogical (especially in the land of the free).
I would like to thank you Mr. Phone for taking the time out of your busy day to talk with me. I appreciate you offering your answers to my readers. I’m happy that you encourage them to ask more questions as learning is important for all of us and something we should never stop doing. If my readers have any questions, please leave them in the comment section so that I may address them in a second interview – if needed.