When a social historian seeks to identify a sign of our times, I reckon it will be the mobile phone. Walking in a London thoroughfare, it seems one person in three is on the phone and, unlike New York, we do not walk in actual lanes, so as often as not you have to weave out of the way. Few train journeys are spared the discomfort of some loudmouth on his mobile or her mobile . A few years ago the consequences of the users’ brain damage, if they have one, seemed to have limited use, but nowadays we have the even more bizarre entity of the person speaking loudly to himself, wired up, with a look of unbearable self-importance on his face.
There was a time, and it was not long ago, that people could function commercially and socially without reliance on their mobile and in my opinion it was a more peaceful and sensible one.