(through streets) BROAD AND NARROW
is the product of sending voice or vision to the masses. Then
there's narrowcasting, which traditionally means casting to
smaller audiences, or more demograpic-sensitive audiences, such
as lets say, a community radio station or a station dedicated
specifically to jazz.
narrowcasting has taken
on a whole new meaning in this day of an explosion in communications.
Lets think outside the circle. Everyone who owns a mobile phone
is a narrowcaster. When we talk on a mobile, we are sending
our voice over the air. When we send a text message via a phone,
we are narrowcasting in a one-on-one way. Mobile phones have
indeed revolutionised the way we live.
in 1994 I was an early adopter. Early adopters are people who
buy the latest thing at 3 times the price. There are many reasons
why people do this. Those into technology, as I am, do it because
we can not bear to think we're missing out on the latest greatest
widget. Because its a new product, we pay dearly for our obsession.
In 1994 I had a mobile phone. I needed a wheelbarrow to carry
it around and by todays standards the phone was downright ugly
- not to mention enormous. But in 1994 I was able to call people
while walking down the street. I loved it and felt I was indeed
part of the brave new world. Others thought I was a wanker.
That's another price you pay when you're an early adopter.
So there I am driving around Sydney in my little car, narrowcasting
to all my friends, who would scream "Are you really
in your car? Wow!" "Yes!" I would
retort with elevated voice, because of the appauling quality
of the "line". It was not long before virtually everyone
I knew had a mobile phone - and these little devices changed
PHONES AND HOW THEY CHANGE OUR LIVES
Scenario pre mobile phones:
You phone your friend from your landline at work and organise
to meet her for drinks at 8pm in the Marlboro Bar. You arrive
and she's not there. You wait half an hour and then use the
public phone to call her to find out where she is. She doesn't
answer her home phone because she is sitting in her parked car
in the pouring rain. Her car has broken down. You're pissed
off and go home.
Scenario post mobile phones:
organise to meet your friend for drinks at 8 oclock at the Marlboro
Bar. You're in the cab listening to the driver moaning about
the bad weather. Your mobile phone rings. Its her. Her car has
broken down and she tells you she's on O'Connell street, waiting
for the AA (Automobile Association) to come and fix it. You
redirect the Cab driver to go to her car on O'Connell Street.
On the way you drop off at the Off Licence and grab a bottle
of red. When you get there, you hop into her car, and open the
wine. The rain is pelting down and the AA man never arrives
because it would appear every car in the city has broken down
because of the torrid weather. You both sit in the car for most
of the night, talking and getting drunk and falling in love.
You get married and have 17 children.
See what happend there? Not only did I show you how narrowcasting
through a mobile phone can change your life, but I added a bit
of romance to it too. Shucks.
15 to 25 year olds are the biggest narrowcasters of all. If
we could grab the words from all the text messages flying through
the air around the globe at any one moment, it would possibly
add up to the sum of all the books printed in the world. Or
maybe not, considering the english language has been so brutally
abused and shortened! "You" has become "U".
You get my drift.
Mobile phones can also be very dangerous. Here's an example.
I was working in a job I hated in North Sydney back in 1997.
My girlfriend drove me to work one morning. We stopped off at
a cafe to have coffee before I faced my horrid day. We both
had mobile phones sitting on the table in the cafe. My mobile
phone was aumatically forwarded to my office phone. My girlfriend
had a one-button preset to call me from her phone. So, we're
sitting there having coffee, and my girlfriend accidentally
hits that preset button.
It calls my phone, which diverts to my office phone. All this
is happening without our awareness. Someone in the office answers
my phone, only to hear our full conversation in the cafe. I
am telling my girlfriend how much I hate this job, even naming
people in there that I could not stand! HOW EMBARRASSING! I
left that job two weeks later.
There is so much I could write about mobile phones and how this
form of narrowcasting has changed our lives, but I have to go.
Someone's calling me.