Century-Old Comic Eerily Describes Modern-Day Cell Phone Problems


There is no question that in today’s society far too many of us are addicted to using our phones — especially in the United States, where to not have a smart phone is often thought of as taboo.

While no one in 1919 likely could have predicted that we would be able to reach out and find an incalculable amount of knowledge with just a few taps of the screen, one cartoonist did foresee the possibility — or probability — of a pocket phone causing all sorts of interruptions to daily life.

That’s right. Someone predicted cell phones 99 years ago.

As Boing Boing reports, British cartoonist W.K. Haselden published the comic below with the Daily Mirror on March 5, 1919:

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What perhaps may be most interesting about the comic is the different perspectives we likely have between today and back then.

To readers then, this would be a whimsical journey cataloging the misadventures of a man with an unheard-of burden. It might be amusing, it might be funny, or it might even be a conversation starter.

To me, at least, the comic isn’t even funny. It’s just a collection of frames of things that have happened yesterday, and continue to happen in real life.

How many times have you heard a cell phone go off at the movie theater, or your kid’s school production?

Would Haselden been just a addicted to phones as the rest of us if he were alive now?

My cell phone once went off at a wedding even though I could have sworn I had turned it off.

I’m not even sure why talking in the rain would be a problem, save for the noise of rainfall, but certainly cell phones have caused many a collision with someone’s surroundings.

Haselden might not have predicted smart phone technology, but he did see that a world in which portable phones were present would create problems during those moments when it is imperative that people are present and in the moment.

Although there is definitely a need to stay up to date with the rest of the world when it comes to work viability, research capability, and so on, and even though cell phones and smart technology has enabled us to stay in touch with many people we otherwise would rarely hear from, addictive technology has its pitfalls.

Maybe we all resolve to take a little time off from the screen regulalry and spend it being present with friends and family.

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Your phone can wait a few minutes.

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