Are Mobile Phones Disconnecting Us From Geographic Location?

from the is-that-a-bad-thing? dept

It’s happened to most of us, I’m sure. You’re traveling somewhere, and you receive a phone call on your mobile phone, and you explain to the person that you’re not in your hometown, but 3,000 miles away. An architecture critic is now complaining that the real problem with mobile phone use in public isn’t that it bugs other people, but that it removes our sense of place and removes us from connecting with the location we’re actually in at the moment. He’s particularly upset that people walking around talking on their mobile phones aren’t “experiencing” the urban landscape around them (no surprise that this comes from an architecture critic, whose very job is to notice the urban landscape around him). Instead, he complains that we’re barely connected to our physical location, and quick to jump to the virtual location of our mobile phones. Of course, even if he’s right, I wonder if that’s such a terrible thing. No one is being forced to ignore their surroundings – and if the mobile phone opens up new or different landscapes around them (real or virtual) all it’s doing is adding more options. Found via Gizmodo.

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Comments on “Are Mobile Phones Disconnecting Us From Geographic Location?”

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dorpus says:

The Post-Tourism Era?

During the 20th century, people assumed that tourism would increase forever. Tourism has made its sales pitch based on the notion of cultural or natural authenticity — that people should experience locations that supposedly offer a more “authentic” experience to connect people to the past or to nature, as a counterpoint to sterile modern life.

Increasingly, we’re in an era when cultural or natural monuments are packed full of ringing cell phones, other tourists, and sleazy gift shops. Does travelling some place really make someone a more sophisticated, better person, or is he just following the herd? Is it possible that one can learn far more about history or nature by reading, instead of taking pictures at some dirty monument? If Al Qaeda were to blow up some monument tomorrow, how many fat tourists wearing tacky hats will fall into the sea?

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