Monday, November 29

The mobile can even be used for telephoning

Deprived of WhatsApp messaging on their cell phones, the clientele had a unique opportunity to remember that the mobile phone is also used to call by phone; but everything suggests that the majority had forgotten that function. And it is likely that you will no longer remember it after service is restored.

That the telephone can be used for almost everything except for telephoning – an archaic verb – may seem like a contradiction, but it is not at all. Video calls have advantageously replaced telephone communication, in the same way that the mobile retired long ago to the landline. For everything else, there are WhatsApp -or Telegram- messages, much less intrusive than a direct call.

Although formally still a telephone, the mobile is actually a pocket computer that could well be inspired by the famous twenty- or thirty-use Swiss army knives. The difference is that any cell phone user has several million applications to multiply the possibilities of the device.

To name only the most rudimentary options, the ubiquitous telephone allows you to keep an agenda, calculate distances, take your pulse, guide the owner to any destination, send and receive emails or manage bank accounts. Some also offer a secretary – or secretary – who is able to learn the habits of its owner and give him conversation, in case he gets bored.

The mobile phone has, in fact, become a companion animal that disconnects us from the world until we become asocial beings when by some catastrophic chance we lose it or fall into the hands of a thief. Logically, it was a Japanese -Tomotaka Takahashi- who years ago invented a robotic phone capable of walking, sitting and recognizing the face of its owner. An electronic and telephone pet that, in addition, did not need to be taken for a walk to get relief. It was not particularly successful.

There is nothing new in these wonders that new technologies provide. The invention of tools as extensions of our body began many moons ago, when man devised the wheel as a substitute for the feet and extended his hand by means of the sword. Later, the printing press would illuminate the book, which extends the capacities of memory and imagination. Still other inventions such as the microscope and the telescope would come, which extended the limited faculties of sight; and the telephone, which expanded the voice.

Computing and cybernetics are now compiling these trends, expanding the capacities of human memory by many terabytes and exceeding the computational limit of the most gifted of brains with their processors. Finally, the concentration of almost all these advantages in a simple mobile device has made the telephone the extension par excellence of all the capacities of the human being.

Another thing is that the mobile is also useful for talking on the phone, as we discovered days ago thanks to the blackout of WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram. Maybe it was a mischief by Mark Zuckerberg, the lucky owner of those three companies. There is little doubt that the world is in your hands.

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