Mobile Cruising – How Dishearteningly Dismal

According to Google, over 80% of US internet cruisers use mobile devices to surf the web. About the same percentage of mobile users expect a flawless experience whenever they visit a website with any mobile device.

Almost 90% of people worldwide are looking through a tiny 3 to 6 inch or 8 to 16 cm vertical porthole to see the world. These encounters require nearly perfect eyesight to appreciate.

As for the webpages, viewing them on these “postmodernist” down-sized platforms will require significant changes. As prescribed by mobile web pundits, this would allow the website to be easily viewable on most handheld mobile phone devices.

For the necessity of portability and convenience, smart phones have reached their physical size limits in so far as viewing area is concerned.

It must be noted that people are actually reading whole books on these things.

The problem with mobile smart phone devices is that they are being used for everything. Be it shopping, medical, booking flights, emails, etc., the constant push is to use the smartphone. Now it’s getting to the point where it will be nearly impossible to do business without a smart device.

It is the monthly cost, the purchase price and their three year life expectancy is why these things are hideously expensive devices to have and use. As a result, they have become the only conduit a person has to connect to the world.

Phone Manufacturers

Smart phone manufacturers are hesitant to promote docking station technology allowing the user to connect their device to a large monitor, a keyboard and a mouse, much less an external storage device. Instead manufacturers work to discourage this. In fact, Apple has gone out of their way to disallow this feature. Everything has to be done through a service provider. And if one wants to get around the monthly storage fees, one has to use a hideous piece of PC software called iTunes. Apple doesn’t do anything about upgrading this software stating, “…most people don’t have a PC.” It’s simply the Bell Telephone monopoly all over again.

The phone does everything for you. It is everything. It's your camera and camcorder. it keeps track of your money, is your medical chart, your credit cards, pays your mortgage and keeps your passwords.  It also stores your most cherished memories.

With advancements in artificial intelligence, it will be your friend, keep you company and help you with problems such as aid you with the latest trends and pick cloths to wear.

It is basically your portable computer.

But... don't lose or break your phone.  For if you do, you will lose your life's - stuff.

Electronic Human Relationships

Expectations in interpersonal relationships have changed significantly. Because people are attached to their phone and can virtually text from anywhere, people expect quick response times. This is especially true of those in romantic relationships.

Furthermore, since so many people rely on text messaging, various researchers are finding that communication skills are suffering. For example, MIT sociologist Sherry Turkle warns that “conversation is the most human and humanizing thing that we do. It’s where empathy is born, where intimacy is born…we’ve actually moved away from conversation in a way that my research was showing is hurting us.”

First Form of Electronic Long Distance Texting

The first no-cost long-distance electronic messaging was realized with Marconi radio telegraphy communications in the early 1900s. These were tenuous crude transmitters which was basically Morse code transmitted by hideous spark gap transmitters. This was the first wireless communication mode. These "damped waves" were very broad and inefficient for communication. They were soon replaced by efficient "Continuous Wave" (CW) transmissions that were vacuum tube oscillators which were capable of very pure dots and dashes. These efficient narrow band transmissions could easily be carried around the world.

This was a platform where the novice radio operator could form friendships with people they met on the air. Today it is called Ham Radio.

It would be another 10 to 20 years before voice (phone) communications would become somewhat popular. This form of communications did have its problems. This type of voice broad band carrier was called amplitude modulation or as we now know it, “AM.” The problem with this type of conversing was that it required significant amounts of power and it had range limitations, not to mention was subjected to interference and changes in the ionosphere. However, this would change.

Free Long Distance Voice Communications

It would be 1947 before long distance voice would easily break through the overseas barrier. It was the club ham radio station of Stanford University that would demonstrate a new form of radio transmission. It was called single sideband. Unlike amplitude modulation (AM), single sideband (SSB) only transmitted a small part of the AM signal thereby significantly increasing the range of the transmitted signal.

This event represented the beginning of the postwar ham radio revolution. This was the most important technical development to enable free long distance conversations since spark gap transmitters gave way to CW. As most amateur radio enthusiasts have seen, its implications have gone far beyond the technical.

Today relative to the global population, ham radio is not nearly as popular as it was during the telephone monopoly. Since the post Y2K free global long distance revolution, it has become much easier and convenient to call or text someone on the other side of the US if not the world. For less than a hundred dollars and $25 a month, the holder of one of these little marvels have the world at their fingertips.

Loss of Interpersonal Social Skills

Because of the 2020 COVID Pandemic, I and my wife have become isolated. Our main form of human interaction is communications via a smart phone. Here it is nearly two years later and I now feel trepidations about getting together with others in person. For us, it’s only been two years. For the young who grew up with these mobile things in their hands, these apprehensions are a main consideration when it comes to being physically in the presence of others. It’s much more difficult to hide a person’s appearance or just leave than it is when it comes to mobile communications. It’s easy to limit exposure to the smartphone’s camera or quickly and easily terminate a connection.

Is This Good or Bad

I’m not going to say these technological marvels are evil. Quite the contrary, they are wonderful inventions that have the potential of connecting us in unimaginable ways. My point is, too much of a good thing is not good. It’s a bad thing when misused, especially when it becomes a codependent addiction.

Besides the home, utilities and the car, for most people, the most expensive monthly outlay is the smartphone bill. Americans aged 25-64, paid $114 a month on average for mobile phone service. For limited data service my wife and I pay $52 a month. But in order for us to have unlimited access to the internet at home, it requires a Wi-Fi connection. This we pay $79 a month.

Do we modify our web pages? Here we’re going to stand on our principles. We are not going to alter the website to fit the vertical screen of a smart phone. These are not good windows for viewing the world through. Also, I doubt codependent phone addicts would be interested in what is said on this site.

S December 10th 2021