Mobile Phones: A Childhood Dream


Years ago, children used to dream of owning walkie-talkies, the short wave communications devices used by action figures such as soldiers. Toy walkie-talkies could be purchased from good retailers, and some of them actually worked over small distances. Meanwhile, grown men with time on their hands did the same thing at longer wavelengths. They were known as radio-hams, and later as CB (citizen band) radio operatives. Radio-hams wanted to know what was going on in their world, which consisted largely of mysterious and remote places. The CB fanatics were just mindless chatter boxes.

Fast forward to the world of the mobile phone. The technology has evolved, people haven't. The mobile phone, a brick sized monster, was seen as a status symbol. Instead of small boys desiring these new objects, it was city slickers. Yuppies. Young, thrusting and economically potent. The mobile phone became the grown-up equivalent of walkie-talkies.

Technology advances, and different technologies combined to produce a smaller and more versatile phones. But the new phones are not just phones. They can text eachother, connect to the internet, play music, play movies, take photos and films, play games, tell the time, carry out calculations, do most things a computer can do.

But, people are still the same. The cache of the mobile phone has been recovered by children. They are the walkie-talkies of today. And so desirable are they that legislation was introduced in attempt to stop mugging of phone show-offs by "the gangs". It failed of course, and mobile phones are now de rigeur theft items for the "excluded youth" of today.

In effect, it is childlike desires that have driven the development of the mobile phone as much as anything else. It is fortunate that mobile phones can be so very useful for coping with emergencies. Perhaps this facet is more of a freebie than anything else. But it just goes to show how technology can be used to create interesting items for a voracious young market and yet still be used for serious occasions by those with gravitas and mobile phone that, until recently, have been kept firmly in the off' position.

By: Jim Grayson-16825

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