What, No Cell Phone?!

kinnon —  August 16, 2005 — 1 Comment

How long is forever? "I’ve been using cell phones forever." "I’ve been on the internet forever."

Twenty years ago, we installed our first mobile phone in one of our vehicles. It was a transportable. The battery was the size of a brick and lasted 30 minutes. We were state of the art.

Fifteen years ago, I began to use a BBS – and communicate via email with other people on it. The future was now!

Tim Berners-Lee invented the WWW in 1989, but the revolution didn’t really begin until Clark and Andreesen’s Netscape in 1996. I was on that wave.

Nine years later, over 180 million Americans have little communications devices in their pockets. Many of which can send and receive email, read web pages, take photos and video, and connect you to the Enterprise to beam you up (coming from Nokia next year).

Our children will watch comedies from the 90’s where characters drove around looking for payphones – and wonder why the characters didn’t just use the cell phone in their pockets – because, of course, everyone has a cell phone. (When Imbi and I taught TV production in Kenya in 2002, most of our students had cell phones – in a country where the average wage was under $10 a week.)

How we communicate, share and receive information has changed dramatically in a very short period of time. And that change is accellerating. Technology is interconnecting us in strange new ways. My iPod may audibly cocoon me from the immediate world around me, but allow me to enter the worlds of millions of musicans, podcasters and story tellers. I’m not in a cocoon – I’m just in a completely different world. My close friends aren’t just in my neighbourhood, they are in London, Johannesburg, Los Angeles, Tallin, Nairobi, Vancouver and even Winnipeg. And I can communicate with them whenever I want to – with full motion video.

McLuhan’s Global Village is a reality. And all of us are climbing aboard the Cluetrain.

Welcome to the new forever – even if it only lasts for a few moments.

The every challenging Roy Williams’ Monday Morning Memo was the trigger for this post.



A television editor, writer & director since 1978. A Christian since 1982. More than a little frustrated with the Church in the West since late in the last millennium.

One response to What, No Cell Phone?!

  1. What do you mean “and even Winnipeg”? Winnipegers (and Manitobans, because I’m not really from Winnipeg)can be good friends too! I enjoy reading your posts, Bill, and read all of them when I can. It’s a good way to keep in touch with what’s going on in your life.
    Will e-mail you when I have a little more time.



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