The title of this article is false. Yet it fits the real picture if all the implications of this device that keeps its carrier forever in the loop are taken into account. What was once a hardly noticeable device kept in a corner, announcing its presence with a shrill trinn trinn from time to time, is now a constant companion that refuses to let go. Some half-serious thoughts on what it has done to us.

The game begins with the very introduction of this device in the market. Not owning a mobile reflects on your standing – the haves and the have nots. Having it puts you on a forever alert mode. Consider this. When the device is swithced off, it carries a meaning. When it is not reachable, it calls for interpretation. If the call goes unanswered, it could be for certain reasons, good or bad. When calls are diverted, that too means something. The mobile acts like a permanent signaling device, and it is not difficult for close-knit friends to guess their meanings. The good old table phone, when it was not answered, meant that you were not at home, and that was normally it.

Once mobiles began to sell like hot cakes, they were gradually transformed into radios, cameras, email receivers, messengers, hand helds, gaming consoles, news alerters, web browsers, polling stations, and now televisions. A whole world shrunk into the palm of your hand. Its ‘show appeal’ in public has few rivals – show off the latest feature-laden model, and make calls to impress. A world run on competition revolves around this device. A demand to be connected, reachable, and available all the time to everyone known perhaps brought about its genesis.

Considered on its own merits, for an individual the mobile phone is a wonderful little gadget. As an emergency calling device, it is a boon. Nothing helps more than this device when one is outside. Talk, entertain, get work done, take pictures, get news and information, browse the web, check emails, get alerts, stay in touch with popular issues, its uses make it an indispensable tool once you get hold of it.

Stay connected — with friends, families, colleagues, and marketing executives. If this is the new mantra of the 21st century, than I for one would opt out of it. The idea of a good life includes traveling out, and being left alone with yourself as the leader, and not having to answer how-things-are-going and are-you-interested calls.


Jan 1, 2007