Is anyone else concerned about the possible long term effects of living in an environment in which you can always be contacted, always be located, and always contact others?
I'm only in my mid 20's, but when I was young I lived in the country and for whole days would be out of contact with 'civilisation.' I could have fallen down a well and noone would have found me for ages. Somehow I survived. By the time I was 11 or 12 I would camp out with friends, again with no ability to phone home if anything happened and no ability for my parents to check where I was. By the age of 16 I was living in a large city and starting to learn about wine, women and song - still without a mobile phone or TrackCo Tracking Brain Implant. It was only a few years ago that I started using a phone, and although it's useful I make sure to turn it off frequently and leave it at home occaisionally. I also regularly let it ring out so that people don't assume I will be contactable at all times.
Now my question is this: what about people who live their entire lives, from their earliest years, with a phone? Always in contact, always trackable. Surely this will have a serious psychological effect - severing of the umbilical cord of cellular connectivity already leads to panic in some people I know. If we go out camping and there's no reception, they get upset and on more than one occaision have climbed large hills in vain attempts to get back on the network. Other individuals have phoned me at random times sounding panicking and asking - why was your phone off? Are you ok??!
Basically what I am concerned about is that we will become a species addicted to the security of our cell phone blanket, and thereby lose a bit of our independence. I think we should change the culture to make it less centred around constant connectivity and more focused on convenience - convenience for the OWNER of the phone, not others who might wish to contact them. People should make a point of travelling occaisionally without their phones, turning them off during meals, movies, or even just for a few hours when they want to relax. The phone should be a tool, not a social floatation device to reassure us that if anything bad happens help is just a button-press away. Living with a panic alarm is just going to make you worry more about when you might need to use it.