Thursday, September 08, 2005

Mobiles phones: Cigarettes for the 21st Century

This phrase has been my e-mail sig since 1999. It refers to the many similarities between mobile phones and cigarettes that I have noticed over this time. Many similarities become obvious as one thnks about the comparison. A phone is compared to the collection of individual cigarettes, the pack and also the matches or lighter. I posted a list of similarities on my website a few years ago, and get lots of hits, but no comments. This posting is therefore a place where you can make suggestions and comments, give examples that I can incorporate into the main document.

Topics covered include sociology of cigarette use, social shaping of health scares, industrial structure and political influence, advertising, cultural images, gender and age issues etc.


At 12:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Paricularly interesting is their use by the urban black population. They are normally carried in the hand at all times, even when on the Tube (where there is no reception) and in supermarkets when shopping. This forces the owner to perform juggling tricks when getting tins off of shelves. As with cars, the black urban male uses a mobile as proof of his status. Possession of objects/conspicuous consumption of brands (Martell Cognac, Kristal champagne, box fresh high-worth trainers, women etc) is crucial to earnig 'respect' (this word often translates as fear. The uban black male does not earn respect, he demands it, often through the use of disproportionate violence, often involving firearms)

It is not unusual to see young black males carrying more than one mobile. This identifies the carrier as a 'playa' and it is hoped by the owner he will be thought of as a 'gangsta' who needs lots of phones to do 'bizness'

On another point, why do most mobile phone users not use the silent vibrate function? Presumably they want to be seen and heard using their phones and, of course, the ring tones are another personal statement and a way to annoy people and thus state 'I exist'. It is no coinidence that highest mobile phone use is by the socially excluded, the so-called 'chavs'

At 1:11 PM, Blogger Reevey said...

My name's Nick, I spoke to James about this article when researching a radio feature about text messaging and found it fascinating to see all the parallels being drawn. I noticed one myself yesterday when I was lucky enough to see Bon Jovi in concert and noticed people waving their mobile phones in the air in much the same way they used to with lighters. Certainly an demonstration of the social switch over we seem to be experiencing!

At 5:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

on another note do you not think the electronic revolution is leading to potential social and behavioural problems, surely a screen cannot human needs for company,affection, and communication.
I have noticed adverts,presenters (e.g. big brother)and communication in television media to demonstrate this in the sense that members of the general public seem much less linguistic, and seem to stutter more and seem mroe lost for words. you might even go as far as to say spaced out. the pace at which live programmes move visually and orally seems way too artificial and staggered, and fast paced, to the point that its progression is no longer human.

Adverts and music are becoming much more bare and minimal. presenters like dermot o leary dont seem to be presenting natraully. it just seems weird like everyone is mongede out on this EMF frequency or something.
i am aware we all have a specific magnetic field in the body responsible for all intracellular signalling everywhere from the brain to the stomach so it would be interesting if this became more of a health phenomena this decade. the NHS are already starting to work with acupuncture ( that exploits electric fields in the body).
subtle social changes like this always slip through the noose, especially when mass technology is responsible.
the reason why i chose to believe my unfounded susipcions is because of the effects it has on me. As a student in Edinburgh i have to do everything on paper cus i get so many attention lapses on pc's that i cant string my sentences together as coherently as normal. (eg this blog)
whenever i finish working in the hugh robson i'm always well spaced out and sometimes feel detached from my surroundings a few hours after.
perhaps i am unique in these experiences cus i have dyslexia ( of a visual kind), but it goes to show technology has its downfalls.

At 5:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

if you don believe me then take note of people interviewed on the news or on chat shows this year, and compare and contrast it to chat shows of the previous decade still shown on tv(e.g. GUILTY). It really does seem an unhealthy change
points to note in comparison include:
1. the rate at which people react to other peoples statments
2.the way in which others interpret a persons communication more impulsively and the other persons communication is more bare. i.e. person says less words --> meaning more ambigious----> reacting people much quicker off the mark to lose their self control and shout/heckle

3.stress levels and impulsive tendencies of todays adolescense and youngsters compared to previous decade

At 9:39 AM, Blogger Samuel Herrick said...

i read this blog and found many useful posting and information related to mobile phone and other technology. it can help to visitors to get many useful resource at one place.

At 9:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was wonderful when I see the article about relationshop of Mobile phones and cigeretttes,because I was too thinking the same thing since two three years ago.I am a Sri lankan research student and thease days doing my masters of philosopy degree in Criminology.My topic is Deviant usage of the Mobile phones,and haveobserved and collect data about many deaviant activities angaging to mobile phone using.eventually I was interested about mesure the smoking in the publick placess.In my study I found there is a relationship of reducing of smoking in the publick placess in Sri lanka and simultaneously a incresement of manesless (indeasent) useage of mobil phones.

I like very much about your study and it is very interesting social research I think.I would like to share my reserch findingd with you in near future.
Sudheera Jayaweera
University of Sri Jayawardhanapura Colombo
Sri Lanka.\\


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