I have definitely not been an early adopter when it comes to wireless/mobile technology. When mobile phones first came out, I thought they were just a luxurious and extravagant toy for the very rich. As they became more prevalent, they started to annoy me more. It seemed rude when people would receive a call and then totally ignore whoever they were actually with. And of course, the irritation of phones going off in movies and plays. Fortunately in Australia, there have always been laws against driving while using a non-hands free mobile phone. I don’t know how many near misses I had in Minnesota because so many drivers were distracted because of their mobile phone.
One of my pet hates as a librarian was when somebody would leave her or his mobile phone on a study carrel, go off to the toilet or to find a book, and then the phone would ring. The phone wouldn’t be answered and so would ring a lot – usually with a very obnoxious ring-tone. This has happened numerous times – once with a horrendous version of Wagner’s Flight of the Valkyries blaring for several minutes in the library.
Let me digress to say a few words about mobile phone etiquette in libraries. Some libraries are very unfriendly to mobile phones. This undermines the work of librarians of demonstrating to (mainly) younger people that libraries are relevant, and far from being made obsolete by technology, libraries harness and improve on new technologies with human intelligence.
On the other hand , it is also true that mobile phones can make life unpleasant for other people in the library. Here are a few tips on how to reduce these problems.
1. Always keep your phone with you. This will make it less likely to be stolen and prevent your phone from annoying people should it be called in your absence.
2. Try not to carry on conversations on mobile phones in the library. If you get a call, do one of the following:
a. Ask to text that person back (turning off the text sounds), and have a text conversation. Texting is an effective and unobtrusive way of staying in touch within a library!
b. Carry on your conversation outside the library
c. If you must, have a brief conversation in a toilet cubicle, but don’t get mad or be embarrassed if there are any loud toilet noises (odd as it may sound, this has been an issue in my previous job)
3. Common politeness really, but when you’re checking out a book or are otherwise dealing with a real person, please suspend your conversation on your mobile.
It has been very interesting to return to Australia from the US, and see how much more prevalent mobile phones seem to be here. Especially the use of text messages.
Now that I am working for a mobile phone company, it is time to bring myself completely up to speed with wireless technology applications. I am on a bit of a learning curve here.
Because I get some generous employee discounts, I decided that I could afford to get a much nicer phone. So yesterday I bought a Motorola V525, one of those phones with a built-in camera that can also connect to the internet. It’s been a great little phone so far. I’ve experimented with taking photos, sending text and picture messages, voice-activated dialing, downloading different ring-tones, wallpaper and games (cool games with a lot of colour and sounds). This phone is also Bluetooth enabled, so I’ll be experimenting with that too, once I get my iBook some equipment for this.
I am now pondering the idea of starting a moblog concerning my current job. Either that or updating this one by mobile occasionally.