The mobile phone is an enigma. On one hand it erases distances and bridges continents. On the other hand it means that a couple are never really ‘alone’ – unless they make an effort. In the scenario depicted in my poem, 2+Phone=Crowd, beeping, pinging, ringing phones can bring a chatroom full of friends into an intimate evening. Increasingly we are also seeing the mobile phone as ‘prop’. In that moment of the chance encounter, perhaps in an elevator or bus stop, where in times past ‘hellos’ might have been exchanged, these days someone generally pulls out a mobile phone and treats a potential acquaintance to a ‘halfalogue‘…
The person who makes a physical effort to come into our presence should generally take priority – but it doesn’t always work that way in real life. Too often, the person who dials a phone number cuts out the queue at the reception and leapfrogs the man in front of us. We cannot – dare not – wish away the mobile phone. Its pains are more than paid for in benefits. – And it will become more and more central to life as we know it.
But we can, and should, master a phone etiquette. We should make the mobile phone more tool than master.
2 + Phone = Crowd
in the café
texting & talking
to two others
miles & miles