mobile

One of the somewhat disconcerting things about cell phones is the lack of knowing the location of the person on the other end of the line. Back in land-line era… when you called your friend you usually had a picture of them sitting at the kitchen table, or in their bedroom, or in the front room, while you talked with them. That image gave the person on the other end of the line a location, somewhere concrete to place them while you talked. Perhaps it gave the conversation a little more solidity because it was that much closer to having a solid foundation on which to converse if not in person.

Now, with cell phones – both calling and text messaging – you have no idea where the other person is unless they tell you or you know beforehand. I send a friend a text message out into the ether and he replies. He could be in a truck stop in Utah, in a hotel, at a grocery store, wandering the streets of a city, at home, in a restaurant, etc.

I often feel the need to locate a person when I converse with them. “Where are you?”
I think other people feel a need to locate themselves to the other person, because often they will offer up their whereabouts even before asked.

Does this mobile phenomena make us feel less connected because of a lack of grounding and inability to knowing the location of the other person, even while we are more available than ever?

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