Monday, April 28, 2008

Mobile Cheats

Few years back, a telephone connection at home was considered luxury and matter of pride. It was considered as an indicator of social status. That was the time when neighbors would flock in at your home with their whole family if you had a telephone connection. STD/PCO booths were mobbed with long queues of people eagerly waiting for their turns.

Making a STD call to our distant relatives was a social ritual. My parents, my sisters and I would neatly dress up and get ready to go to the nearby STD booth. We would lock our house and also plan to eat ice-cream on our way back. The STD owner would greet us once we reach there. Our excitement would increase with the decreasing queue. When we had our turn to make the call, my father would hand over my relative’s number to the STD owner to dial in. I would impatiently wait for my parents to finish fast with their talks. My excitement would reach the peak when I get my turn to talk to my cousin. Within a minute my father would pester me to finish the call fast to keep the phone bill to minimum. STD was pretty expensive then.

It was 90s and now it is 2008. Welcome to the mobile world of 21st century! Today, almost every member in my family has a mobile. Calling someone has become just another chore with a very less significance attached to it; it has no longer been a “family-thing”.

Mobile usage has changed user’s behavior in a lot of unpredictable ways. It has become an extension of our communication capabilities. We carry mobile phones with us all the time and a separation of even a few minutes makes us feel uncomfortable and nervous.

Lately I shifted my office seat to a different location. I noticed that one of my neighbors in the next cubicle is always engrossed in her work. I found her concentrating on monitor for long hours without changing her pose. She wears her mobile hands-free all the time in her ears. Earlier, I thought that she was listening to songs and concentrating on her work. However, one fine day – to my dismal – I realized that she was actually talking to someone in the disguise of a busy looking professional. She has perfected the art so well that her lips and face barely move when she talks. I wanted to take her picture but could not do that.

Mobile companies never designed the hands-free the way she uses it. I really liked the creativity that she has shown to avoid her boss’s attention. She can now talk for hours without making her boss aware of it. Users are really good at using products beyond the intended uses. They can remould their behavior and product usage based on the context in which they use the product.

Finally, I asked my friend Sriram to pose for me so that I could share the amazing posture with you all. Thanks Sriram!

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