Michael van Eeden on 13 Nov 2000 22:14:35 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] Re: <nettime> Cellphones and the Cancer of Cellspace

What i find interesting in the whole cellphone debate is that nobody has
mentioned the fact that cellphones are actually a much more 'logical'
solution to the problem phones in general try to solve than old wired
phones. Generally, when you use a phone, you try to reach a person, not
a location. But what we have been doing over the last 100 years is call
to a location. If we were lucky somebody would be at this location, not
necessarily the person we wanted to reach, and this person would either
call the person and hand over the phone to the person we actually wanted
to reach, or take a message. Nowadays in office environments i am always
amazed by people answering other people's phones ('no, he/she is not
here at the moment, sorry')- if somebody is not there isn't the most
logical thing to do just not answer the phone?

Using a phone in a public place can be rude, but i also find it rude if
i have been waiting in the waiting room of my doctor and when i finally
get to see him he answers 4 phone calls (on his wired phone) while i am
sitting there (and other people are waiting). Sometimes i find it rude
when i am sitting in a train and two people are sitting next to me and
in a loud voice they are discussing extremely unimportant things like
the weather. Sometimes i find this amusing, but then again sometimes it
can be amusing to overhear a telephone conversation.

Personally i love having a mobile phone, the whole bizarre setup of
calling a location to reach a person was already bothering me when i was
a kid. If you don't want to have a mobile phone, fine with me. Then
again, when the wired phone was introduced there were people who found
it a disturbing concept and preferred writing letters and having long
walks to meet their relatives.

I like having a choice. I can choose now to either visit people (and
maybe on the way call them to see if they're in), write them, email
them, phone them. I also have a choice not to answer phonecalls, and i
often do. My phone even has a button for it, very nice. I use it in
supermarkets, crowded environments, during conversations. Most people
find this strange, it seems to me most people never even consider _not_
answering their phones. Actually, most people really appreciate it i
turn off  my phone when it rings during a conversation. There are long
stretches of time nobody can reach me because i choose to turn my phone
off. I guess these moments of not being in the network are similar to
moments when a 'wired' person chooses to not being in the same building
as their phone. The difference is that i can choose when i am and when i
am not connected. It is in no way connected to being in a specific

Michael van Eeden

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