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Sunday, February 13, 2005

Mobile phone, finally

Finally, I am getting a mobile phone. I was one among those five or six people in my office who don’t have one. Mercifully, no one has so far called me “a prehistoric relic of a Neanderthal”. Or, at least I haven’t heard.

But, I have a friend working in a software firm, who found my “non-mobile status” extremely discomforting. “Why don’t you get one yaar,” she used to say. “It will be so easy to call you and keep in touch.” She just couldn’t understand how could I not have a mobile phone. A typical NewGen product, I thought. “I will,” I used to just nod in reply.

Hopefully, people will now accept me as a part of modern civilisation once I get this little toy (which I have heard many people describe as an extension of a body part.) Also, hopefully I will have more interaction with my software firm friend!

Not that I never understood the tremendous advantages a cell phone conferred on its user. Isn’t it so obvious in this info-age! But what really kept me off was a feeling that I didn’t really need one. Most of the time I am in the office or at home, barring a once-in-a-while outing with the family, or a visit to the department store or bank. Should I get a mobile, so that I can take the odd calls that come during those times, I used to wonder.

That friend’s remark reminded me about the comments people used to make some couple of years back. “Hey look at that taxi driver… even he has one.”
I used to tell such people, “What is so surprising if taxi drivers or maid servants have one? They are always on the move, aren’t they?”

I think now mobile phones have ceased to be items of novelty: at least not the possession of one; though probably expensive fancy and high-end handsets are still objects of desire, and, for some, hollow statements of their status.

But I also found there is another breed of “intellectuals” who pride in their non-possession of mobile phones. “So you have fallen to the mobiles!” was one exclamation I heard. Note that guy’s usage of the word “fallen”. Crap. He is as stupid as someone who is proud of having these modern-day gadgets.

I am sure you are wondering, why am I now going for a mobile phone. Have I become so mobile, and that a handset has become totally indispensable? Not really. I just got a feeling that the time has come to grab the convenience of a modern-day gadget. Intense competition among service providers now gives me a lot more of options than what I would have had a few years back.

There is another reason too. I found that the mobile phone revolution reduced our “tolerance limit” to a great extent. Information travels much faster now. The availability of a cellphone tempts us to communicate, even when there is no need to, contributing to what scientists call “information overload” -- may not be desirable, but quite a fact of life, like the junk mail. And, more importantly, people want quick responses from you.


I am an info-freak and my profession is also all about information. Keep up, or get lost out. I must cruise as fast as I can on the information superhighway, at least to make sure that I don’t lag behind.

That is the real reason why I am getting a mobile phone, now. Finally!

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