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Immobilised brains

Robert's post draws attention to a disadvantage of the universal cell phone, or mobile, as we say here: it stifles initiative. We are not obliged to make plans or, in some cases, think for ourselves, because others can so easily be contacted.

Children and teenagers who have grown up in a world where there have always been mobile phones are particularly disadvantaged in this respect, as Robert's piece illustrates. Then again, I must guard against old codgerdom and acknowledge that my grandparents, and parents for a time, would have said the same thing about my generation and ordinary telephones, which were around, of course, but not universal.

The advantages of mobile phones outweigh the disadvantages. I must say that I feel slightly uneasy if I forget mine, which is not often, and think it strange if somebody hasn't got one.

Thinking about this put me in mind of an episode of "Rosanne", in the days when it was funny. Becky, or perhaps Darlene, having stayed out late with her boyfriend and "forgotten" to call, tells Rosanne that she was with a friend whose family "are Amish and don't have a phone." Rosanne is not fooled for a minute, having used the same excuse herself as a teenager. No such excuse is available to today's teenagers.

I wonder if the Amish have a website. They shouldn't really, should they?