Today is apparently Alexander Graham Bell‘s birthday . Thanks to Google for reminding me of that. I wonder what he would have thought about how his invention is been used today. It saves lives, keeps people in touch across continents and makes some forms of business possible that without the telephone simply could not exist.
I once worked for a company that had an old invoice from 1907 framed on the wall of their reception area. Under the header, proudly displayed, was their telephone number and the words “Three Lines”. They were an affluent company indeed! Now I have a mobile phone, a landline, and Suze has a mobile phone too. I know people who have two mobiles, not a personal and business mobile, just two mobiles for their own use.
We’ve come a long way since “Come here Watson”.
As with all invention, the Internet included, there is of course the dark side. Stalking, abusive/offensive calls and happy slapping. What an enlightened age we live in. Bell would have been appalled.
The question is, leaving aside the Internet, which while using the copper (and not fibre) cabling required for Bell’s voice telephones is based on a different technology, what would he have made of adult chat lines?
Art, the print media, film, video, they have all sooner or later, been used as a delivery method for adult entertainment. I suppose if Bell were a pragmatist he would have know that like all metaphorical Pandoras before him, once the box is opened you don’t have a huge say in what happens next.
I make no judgement about the chatlines, the users, or the providers. I simply can’t see a (legal) use of the telephone that’s further away from the device’s original use.
On the subject of unusual uses for technology, see this video.