More Thanh Words

"My name is Thanh and I'm a Blogger". Now that I have admitted to that, I can say that I'm a stereotypical "geeky" Engineer who enjoys sci-fi books and movies and into all things technological. I also love music and have a passion for FOOD. I'm a social person and like to talk to people. I hate people who are fake or overly aggressive. If you're also into some serious discussion, with a pinch of sarcasm and a dash of real emotion, then please read on.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Mobile Phones - Necessity Or Nuisance

I had read recently on Miss Meep's Guide to Living that Miss Meep had lost her phone and found that she didn't really need it. Eventually her phone turned up in her husband's shoe in the car boot. All of Miss Meep's friend were saying that she can't go without a mobile, what if there are "emergencies"? I then also read an article in The Age newspaper that said the line between work and play is being blurred more and more by mobiles. People are now conducting "busyness" during their off time.

I must say that I was a convert to the mobile revolution about the middle stages. I knew that I wanted to have a mobile very early so that I could "keep in touch" with friends but my parents said I didn't need one. Eventually, I convinced my parents that I needed the phone for "emergencies", such as occasions when my dad came to pick me up from high school and couldn't find me. If I had a mobile, I could ring home to say that I was going to be late and that he should come later. I could've used the public pay phone but then how would I have got my mobile :-).

Keeping in touch with friends just entailed calling people that you see everyday and saying the same old thing. A mobile during the teenage years really is a way of staying in the loop with others. Although it was just as easy to call you on the home phone, people won't because either that wasn't cool since you are being monitored by your parents or you might be on the internet (dial up back then) so they couldn't get through. Any plans to go places may be switched at the last minute and you won't be notified, hence missing out. The article talks about people sending SMS and saying that someone cares about them. I've seen many people, especially girls, who instigate lengthy SMS conversations just so that they can hear the "Dood Dood Dood Dood Dood" sound of the SMS, signifying to all others within earshot that they are popular and wanted.

I must say that I never really went through that mobile needy phase too much. It lasted a few months after getting my first phone but I soon saw how pointless and expensive it was. Eventually I really did use my phones to make needed calls only. I really would be quite lost without my phone. It's not a matter of life and death but it does make life much easier for me. It's like a safety net that you can rely on and also a tool to better your social life. The fact that you can ring and find people instantly and tell them something is very useful. Finding people at meeting points is easy, changing plans is easy, organising spur of the moment events is easy and the occasional emergency that does come up can be dealt with. I've thought that I had lost my mobile a few times and that just made me so sick. It wasn't losing the actual phones but all the contacts in them. It's silly but somehow it feels like you might lose touch with the friends that you don't regularly see. Hence I have made a copy of the numbers on a file stored elsewhere. Am I a tragic or what? I can't help it, I really need my mobile.

In terms of work, I initially made the mistake of giving my mobile number to my work place because one colleague said that he needed to be able to contact me on this project we were working on at the time. Well I emailed him my number and specifically asked him not to pass it around. Months and months later, I get an email carbon copied to me that had my mobile number. Somehow that intial email I had sent months ago had circulated so that the new project managr of the project I was working on had my number. If it was a work mobile, I wouldn't mind. But this is my private mobile that I don't want to use for work. Eventually I got a new contract and number and now I do not give out my number for work purposes, only to friends at work who call me for private matters.

Mobiles may mean many different things to different people but its hard to deny that in this day and age, a lot of social and business decisions are conducted on the mobile. Some people truly may not need it, but others would be lost without it. I have one and it doesn't cost me much to keep as I'm not one of those crazy people that make hour long calls on the mobile. I keep my calls short and only use it when necessary. So for me, a mobile is a NECESSITY that I WANT. :-) Spot the irony! So who has studied the Kotler model of needs and want today students???


Blogger The Oriental Express said...

I can't live without my handphones.
I have not one, but two Nokia handphones. Same model, same colour. People asked me how do I differentiate. Simple. One has Xiaobai's photo; the other has Kamlette's. We property agents need two mobiles to differentiate the different properties when we advertise.

Like Visa card ad, I cannot leave home without my Nokia. I don't have a phone at home since I am always on the move.

5/23/2006 6:51 AM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

Yeah, a fellow mobile phone lover. You probably need the phone a lot more consider you sell real estate Choo but it just goes to show how even the real estate industry has changed with the introduction of mobile phones. Now you don't have to miss out on clients who can't reach you.

5/23/2006 6:28 PM  
Blogger danielsan said...

I cant leave home without my phone and will be lost without one. Although I use my phone for work, I do not give my number out - only to colleagues.
I hardly uses my phone to make calls, I texts more than talking on it. I average over 400 texts per month. Reason being alot of my mates works shifts, and sometimes I don't know whether they are working or not, and it's easier texting them instead.
So for me, mobile is a necessity!

5/23/2006 6:58 PM  
Blogger Superb said...

Mobiles are no big deal to me, all the nifty features aren't such a big deal to me any more. I'm happy to get by with a phone that calls and sends messages, and doesn't fully LAG upon opening my inbox cos its full cos I'm too much of a lazy ass to clear messages (And now, for the first time ever my phone doesn't lag! Joyous!)

Cameras can be fun and handy though, but I can live without em.

PDA's - now there's a fun little toy. You should do a review on them :) My next PDA will be a phone too! One day hehe

5/23/2006 8:57 PM  
Blogger afrobev said...

I get so fed up with mobile phones. Texting is hard work and I feel they are very intrusive and very secretive at the same time. I can't go anywhere without someone trying to get hold of me or having to reply to a text. I just think that we should learn to live without them. We were all perfectly happy before the age of mobile phones and I just see them as a big BIG pain in the arse most of the time...An expensive pain in the arse too. The most upsetting thing is that children are using them in school at a very young age and we are all losing the art of communication as a consequence. Im sure my friend Brother Daniel San won't mind me saying that he cant go out anywhere without spending the majority of the evening on his phone or texting someone. I just dont like them Thanh, I really don't.

5/23/2006 11:56 PM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

I understand your what you are saying James. I hate it too when people use their phones all the time. They may be out with you, yet when the phone rings, it like somehow the person on the other end is more important than what they are already experiencing. I'm sure if the roles were reversed, they would be the same, so its not the actual people involved. Its the actual act of a call that people drop everything they are doing and say "I gotta take this call" like every call is an emergency.

Although I say I need a phone, I only make a few calls and only when I really need to. I'm not one to call other people while out with someone else and totally ignore the person I'm with. The funniest thing I saw once was at a restaurant. A couple dressed very nicely and obviously on a special night out together. They sit down for dinner and the whole 2 hours, the guy was texting or on the phone the whole time and the girl was just sitting there staring blankly.

Stan, 400 texts a month is heaps. I probably send about 5-10 sms a month. You must get repetitive strain injury from all that texting.

Trev, I agree with you, I don't need any special features on my phone either. Just need to make calls, send sms and a camera which I'm finding very useful, especially for instant pics for this blog.

5/24/2006 9:39 PM  

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