Ambivalently Connected

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The telephonic cellularization of the public domain is turning many Americans off.

A new survey from the Lemelson-MIT program shows that people now regard the cell phone as the invention they hate the most, but cannot live without. Most often, its other people’s cell phones that drive us out of our minds; with their high pitched jangle, all those distracted drivers, and the people talking to nobody. For the generation that still remembers the rotary phone, the cell is tiny agent of social change; challenging notions of space, time, and control. Those born into the world of Nokia and Motorola have a whole new measure of mobility and good manners.


Joshua Meyrowitz, Department of Communication, University of New Hampshire, author of “No Sense of Place: The Impact of Electronic Media on Social Behavior”

Donald A. Norman, Professor of Computer Science and Psychology, Northwestern University, author of “Emotional Design: Why We Love (Or Hate) Everyday Things”

Howard Rheingold, author of Smart Mobs