Tag Archives: Mobile phone

The New Wave

15 Sep

Ten years. A decade. Well just over. That is how long it has taken for mobiles to become a predominant part of our social and cultural spheres. I remember only getting a phone when I was in Year 11 or 16 years of age, tell that to a 16 year old and they would probably look at you as if you are weird or living in the dark ages. I remember the days of organising when to be picked up and having to stick to that time, today I am rarely on time. I mean well but somehow I never get anywhere when I am supposed to. Well, unless it is to work or if I am going to a job interview. My friends have learnt to live with my lateness –sorry!

Mobile technology has developed and is vastly different to the mobiles of the 80s and 90s. The first phone I had was a Nokia 3315 and I will be honest it is still the most reliable phone I ever had. Sure it didn’t have all the mod cons but it lasted for 4 years until I got a new phone for Christmas and it still works to this very day!

nokia3315

I am also very late to the smart phone party, I only upgraded to an iPhone 5 this year and it was only because my trusty Nokia – not the 3315, but the Nokia e72 – stopped charging. You may be reading this and saying I am anti-technology but I am not, I love social media and find myself wasting an increasing amount of time on both Facebook and Instagram.

But, let us rewind a little to understand the history of mobile technology Goggin (2013) notes that media is affected by the mobility of people. People do not tend to stay in the same place so media needs to constantly evolve to meet the needs of people who use media.

In terms of mobile phones they have evolved from being something that looks like it is coming straight out of a science fiction movie to a hand held device. The first phones were like a brick or a heavy boulder; heavy and impractical.

evolution of mobile

As the technology has progressed phones have become lighter and smaller and much easier to carry around, they have also gotten a whole lot cooler and ‘fancier’.

What I mean by fancier is the evolution of the phone from a single use of texting and calls to its use as a transmitter of television and radio via the use of the internet. The mobile telephone today is regarded as essential to social and cultural technology especially for interpersonal communication (Goggin, 2013).

Let’s think about that for a moment our phones have become essential to our interpersonal communication but shouldn’t we just communicate with the person in front of us? One of my personal pet hates is people Facebook messaging each other whilst they are sitting opposite one another or simply having the phone on the table poised to respond to texts as they come in. Why bother to spend time with friends or family if they will be on their phones the entire time? Are we all too busy or self-indulged and narcissistic to simply enjoy one another’s company? There is a term for this and its called phubbing, but we shall not get into it, you can read all about it here.

Goggin (2013) notes that since 2005 3G mobile phones have been used increasingly as a form of mobile TV. These phones have increasingly been target by producers to be capable of holding images and video to engage a new audience.

This is the other issue I have with this new wave of technology with a shift to using the phone to capture ‘moments’  at a concert or festival. Do people actually believe the video they are recording will be quality post event?

holding phone

The IPhone or Samsung of today is now a whole lot smarter than my first phone and I must say I am intrigued to see where else this technology will be taken. 30 years ago I doubt anyone would have envisaged the IPhone or Samsung Galaxy so it will be interesting to see what the next 30 years will bring.

Time will only tell.

Resources

Goggin, G (2013) ‘Changing Media with Mobiles’, in J. Hartley, J.Burgess and A. Bruns (Eds) A companion to new media dynamics London: Blackwell Publising Ltd pp 193-208