The Cordless Conundrum: Causing a Racket

By Samantha Mack

Compare the telecom industry of the last decade to a hard-fought match in the 2015 US Open: Serena Williams vs Venus Williams.

The first set commences. The first debate considers two points of view:

Serena Williams: Pro Cell Phone

Serena serves the ball to Venus, striking the court just inside the T.

“Cell phones are great. I can keep track of match statistics, listen to pump-up music, text my coach, and access social media whenever and wherever I want. They’re way better than landlines.”

Venus misses the serve, and Serena cops the ace.

Venus Williams: Pro Landline

“Serena, cell phones are an amazing form of technology, but landlines are way less expensive. Just use your landline.”

Venus misses a crosscourt backhand. Serena wins the first set with a score of 6-2.

Over the last few years, landlines have gradually disappeared, and are now replaced by cell phones. Encountering a landline in a typical home today is a rare sighting. The world is almost completely wireless. Are non-wireless phones necessary anymore? Only the progression of technology over time will reveal the answer to that supposition.

Back to the match.

The second set commences.

Venus serves, and Serena hits a crosscourt forehand back. Venus strikes a backhand down the line to win the point.

Venus: Pro-Technology

“Fair enough, Serena. But if I had to choose between cell phones and no cell phone technology at all, I would pick cell phones. Although landlines are a better alternative than cell phones, no phone at all would be disgraceful. How would I communicate?”

Venus hits a hard forehand crosscourt.

Serena: Anti-Technology

“Even though I preferred cell phones over landlines, I guess it is true that we’re always on our cell phones. We never pay attention to anything anymore. Mobilization is consuming our lives. It’s become a distraction. No cell phone technology is the way to go. There’d be more time to spend with family and friends.”

Venus returns Serena’s shot, and Serena hits another ball into the net. Venus wins the set, 6-1. The match is all tied up.

The world has turned into one of constant technology use, and at its peak is phone mobilization. Cell phones dictate our daily lives. Through Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and VSCO, society has become obsessed with the way we are perceived by others. Each picture posted must have the perfect filter, caption, and background to attract the most “likes”. As millennials fear criticism and lack of acceptance, the social media realm thrives. More likes equate to more self-confidence. Studies have also shown a decrease in the focus of students, an increase in accidents due to texting and driving, and a less productive workforce when using cell phones. Cell phones could be perceived as a distraction to our society.

However, there are numerous benefits to cell phones. GPS’, Venmo, Facetime, Uber, Whatsapp, and a million other applications are developed for mobile phone use. Our entire world has virtually been condensed into one simple device. They have transformed the way we communicate, and the way we live. Order pizza instantly from an app. Schedule a trip to Hawaii. Learn to cook an omelette. Study for your next math test. Text your grandmother happy birthday. One can do almost anything using our smartphones. We are in constant contact with friends and family through calling and text at our demand. We’re constantly in the loop of the world. Although consistent connection may distract people from focusing on other tasks, it allows us to foster relationships all over the world, and gives us access to endless information.

The third set commences.

Venus hits a short ball, and Serena puts it away.

Serena: Pro-Innovation

Venus, what about the future? It’s possible that communication could occur using only real time communications. Companies like INNITEL have already done so. Will cell phones still exist? The technology world is changing.”

Venus misses a hard backhand.

Venus: Anti-Innovation

“No, Serena. Cell phones will always exist. They dictate the world.”

Serena slams a backhand down the line winner to win the match, advancing to the 2015 US Open Semifinals.

Although the future is unknown, what is known is society’s path towards technological innovation. We are the future of technology- we have the capacity to change the way the world operates. Will wired phones in call centers eventually disappear? Will cell phones disappear? The answer is most likely yes. How will we communicate in ten years?

Like Serena and Venus had control over their performances, we have control of the future. There can be two sides to every argument, but our progress and abilities as a society will dictate which prevails. The telecom world is extremely dynamic. It will change as new inventions are created and communication is improved. And this change is at our fingertips.