Using a new or old cell phone for the purposes of having a conversation with someone might seem to some to be the sole point of owning such a device in the first place, but evidence is growing that more and more people are using their cell phones for just about everything except talking.
“There are so many ways of keeping in constant touch with people that voice calls are almost too invasive now,” reckons archaeologist Kimberly Brown, who works at The Gibraltar Museum in Gibraltar. “I feel I use it to its full potential – as music player, as camera, for texts, for emails, for surfing… apps, games.”
Brown is part of a growing trend in a move away from the use of cell phones for communicating via voice, a trend that may be a good thing given the increasing worry over cancer fears caused by holding cell phones next to the head – the natural place to put it when actually having a conversation with someone, but not necessary for all their other applications. As Brown notes, however, another reason for the shift is that text messages are felt by people to be less intrusive to the person being contacted, allowing them to respond when they have the time rather than demanding instant communication.
“As phones develop and advanced features become more palatable – better displays, software etc – people are being accustomed to using their phones for a range of features, rather than just voice,” says an analyst for London based TNS Global Market Research, Fiona Buchanan.