A coming out story

A large research project is not only about dispassionate and totally objective research. It is also about human beings, being involved in their own daily life, with their own quirks, imperfections, and oddities. Such human aspects do come up over lunch, in the evening over dinner, or at similar events. This has happened to me as well, and after an initial shock, my colleagues urged me to come forward with this oddity and get it off my chest. So, here it comes:

I do not own a cell phone.

Well, strictly speaking, I do own one, but I do not know where it is and I’ve lost the charger long ago. Also don’t have a SIM card for it.

I understand this is shocking. Plainly, I never had the need for one, rarely make phone calls, cannot express things in SMS format.

On the other hand, I do use email, Web, Internet in general extensively. I even use it in a mobile form. The interesting and challenging question for me (as a personal user, apart from the researcher’s perspective) is how the future Internet will support other use cases, make it easier to develop new applications, provide a perspective on things that are currently not feasible at acceptable cost (either development cost or operational cost). It might well be that these applications will dwarf the relevance that is attached today to the cell phone and mobile voice communication. In such cases, even I might turn into an avid user of small, mobile communication devices.

Image from Flickr, by Mykl Roventine. Licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Disclosure and disclaimer: I am engaged in the SAIL project, on behalf of University of Paderborn. The opinions expressed in this post, however, are my personal ones, and not those of the SAIL project or my employer.

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