Strong opinions, weakly held

Trying to grok the mobile phone generation

I keep reading that the computing platform for the younger generation is the mobile phone. For me and my generation, it’s the personal computer. I see the mobile phone mostly as an annoyance. I loathe texting, I don’t really care for voice mail, and I certainly don’t want to talk on the phone unless I absolutely have to.

Reportedly other people don’t see their phones that way. They text constantly, use their phones to surf the web, and generally use the phone as their communications platform of choice. I don’t get it, but there you go.

I will be watching with interest to see whether Twitter takes off and which sorts of people use it. It’s a service that enables you to send text messages from a mobile phone to a central service which then passes them along to your subscribers. Naturally you can subscribe to other people as well. So if you and your five friends all joined and subscribe to one another, you could text a message to Twitter saying, “headed 2 bar after work” and your friends would be notified automatically. In other words, totally useless to me but perhaps intriguing to others.

I’ll be watching to find out whether that’s the case.


  1. computing platform for the younger generation is the mobile phone

    With the interesting side effect being they’re locked almost exclusively into being consumers versus coders. I know a reasonable swathe of teenagers (not tons, but a sampling) and zero teenage hackers. Which was radically different then my the demographics in my crew growing up, and even more radically different then the folks 4-5 years younger then me.

    Regarding Twitter, I think its mostly taking off among folks you’d consider of your generation.

    Plus there is a web interface, and RSS feeds for those of us who can’t adjust 🙂

  2. Well, if the gizmos can hook up to the web and do most other things a traditional computer can do, what’s the dif?

  3. For me, the difference is about 30″ of screen space.

  4. When I had a Treo and a cheap unlimited data plan, I used it (probably more than was healthy) to surf the web during downtime I had away from a computer. I never texted much with my friends around home, but when I’ve visited my friends in NYC, they–and therefore I–texted all the time to make plans and share tidbits. Far more efficient than trying to call (synchronicity required) or email (heavy client required) for short messages and/or to synchronize multiple people all over a big city who might not be at a computer, but always have their phones on them.

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