Cellphone diversity


No, really, they can’t see your body language through the telephone, not even when you exaggerate it. All you achieve is to entertain people like me, or Konata here.

Some otherwise well-intending people I know believe that they are not racists (presumably because they are not white), yet they have this concept of “diversity”.  It seems to mean that in any group of more than a couple persons, in order to have the right to an opinion, the group needs to comprise different skin colors.  In other contexts there may also be a need for at least two genders, preferably more, but the color thing is the most obvious and baffling. For skin color to have anything to do with diversity, you almost have to be either a racist or a photographer.  But I am willing to tolerate even that. After all, with the cell phones we have today, almost everyone is a photographer…

If you REALLY want diversity, however, you should categorize people based on how they use their cell phone, and include at least one from each of the main three types.

I see them on the street, I see them on the bus, occasionally even at work.  The age, gender and skin color varies wildly, but they all do the same thing, talk in their cell phones. In this regard, there is no diversity at all.  Even when they speak a language I don’t even recognize, they are all eerily similar.  Surely any one of them, even the one who just came here last year from Africa, is more similar to the rest of them than to me.  I claim minority status dammit! RESPECT ME NOW!

So, the three main breeds of human, as revealed by their cell phones.

Type 1: The talker.  This person, in true reactionary fashion, uses the telephone to talk. As if we weren’t in a new millennium at all.  There’s a lot of these people.  You can usually recognize them as soon as the phone comes out, either because it is already ringing, or because it is small, with a particularly small display and plain, functional number keys filling the rest of the front.

Type 2: The texter. There is an overlap between this group and the first. Some people will talk if reasonably private but text in a more crowded setting, such as the bus. But you will also see them walking down the street, texting and relying on the world to not collide with them.  They also frequently receive text messages, which means they either stick with their own type or have somehow conditioned others to use the same channel to communicate with them.  Their phones are larger, to give room for a high quality display and large keys.  Occasionally the number keys are replaced with a tiny QWERTY keyboard, and inventive ways exist to fold this into the phone when not in use.

Type 3: The surfer.  At first glance this may look like a texter, but the rhythm is different. The surfer will click a few keys, then look at the screen for a while, then click again. Sometimes he (are there even any female surfers?) will type for a while, but there is no finality to it.  The phone is fairly large, but most important, it is almost entirely covered by screen. The surfer will most likely type on the screen with his fingertip, rather than a separate keyboard.

No prizes for guessing which type I am.  I have recently completed my phonification of Twitter, Facebook and Livejournal by installing specific clients for each of them on my Android phone.  (HTC Hero, for those who missed the news.) This way I can check or update my social sites on the bus.  Actually I am not very social at all, as you may have noticed, but so much the better that I can get it done on the bus. Or in bed.  Instant gratification!  Not in the shower though.

I have yet to receive a call on it though, thankfully.  Much less place one.