The thought of a world without mobile phones may sound like heaven to some. A world without constant calls, texts and emails flooding in throughout the day. Similarly, it may seem like a nightmarish situation for the very same reasons. Modern work and play demands that we are constantly connected throughout the day. But what would happen if we no longer used mobile phones? Would everyone fall out of contact with each other? Would business grind to a halt? Probably not. Here’s why.
Mobile phones are no longer just for calls, and haven’t been this way for years
Telephones have come a staggeringly long way in the 21st century. The year 2000 may seem like a long time ago, but when you look at how far mobile technology has come since then, you may be forgiven for thinking that longer than 14 years has passed. At the turn of the century, the Nokia 3210 reigned supreme, followed by its curvey successor, the Nokia 3310.
These devices may seem rather primitive nowadays, but at the time they were revolutionary. These were the handsets that really set forward the idea of every individual having a mobile phone.
Feature wise, they did little more than calls and texts, with later models in the 00’s shipping with WAP capability. This was the first foray into mobile phones being integrated with online services. The thought of being able to check stock markets, sports scores and download the latest ringtones all from your handset was pretty remarkable. The reality was that
WAP was expensive to use, resulting in it being seen as an unnecessary novelty.
Nowadays, WAP is enjoying a somewhat popularity surge throughout various emerging markets. This has been caused by mobile recycling schemes that take unused and outdated mobile devices from more developed nations, with the devices then being distributed to less economically developed nations. Many less affluent business people and farmers utilise WAP in the way it was intended to be used in the West, to keep up to date with business markets and current affairs.
Skip forward to the present day and mobile phones with fully fledged internet capability are deemed essential. We now use our mobiles for far more than calls and texts. Many of the communication services that we use actually rely on the internet more than traditional calls and texts. Twitter, Facebook, G+ and Google Hangouts, Whatsapp, Skype – these are all services that business and personal users rely on every day, and not one of them relies on voice calls or text messaging services.
If we no longer used mobile phones, would life as we know it disappear?
Society managed to function perfectly fine without mobile phones and would continue to be fine without them. The only difference is it would be more difficult to stay connected 24/7.
Business users would not be able to stay up to date on the move, and would be confined to working from their desks and offices. Personal users would not be able to tweet until their heart’s content; social networking would be reserved for the PC, or better yet, within the physical company of people.
One noticeable trend that would be bucked is the decline of the landline. The landline would almost certainly become the standard mode of communication, as it was in the past. People may wince at the thought of this – only having one usable phone per household would surely infuriate modern families. We would have to go back to waiting by the phone if you were expecting a call, making sure everyone else stayed off of any other phones connected to the line.
It would no doubt be awkward at first; we’re just so used to using our mobiles at every opportunity. However, it does come with an upside: work would remain at work, it could not enter the home as easily as it does now. At present, we all have our emails synced to our mobiles, meaning we are contactable by text, call or email on a near continuous basis. Without mobiles constantly beside us, this would not be the case. Depending on your point of view, this could be a peaceful bliss, or a disjointed nightmare.
However, it looks like mobile phones are here for the long haul. They are now such an integrated part of our lives that we base a large portion of how we work and play around our mobile handsets. They help up keep in contact with everyone that matters the most, and for many people, they are an indispensable tool within their careers.