Thursday, April 11, 2019

Please read the terms and conditions

I confess to bearing Luddite tendencies when it comes to cellular telephones. It is a technological phenomenon that has washed over me leaving no debris in its wake.

I have a mobile telephone. I use it, on average, once a month to make a telephone call. I seldom send a text message. Most of the time it is switched off. I prefer to see where I am going when out and about, increasingly important these days when you are constantly the subject of intrusive physical contact by those too busy texting Gary telling him what Sarah Louise has just texted to look where they are going.

I know that there are all sorts of uses for these devices. I have only dabbled at the rim of the ocean of exciting possibilities and suspect that the occasional dipping of the metaphorical toes therein will suffice.

I was bemused, however, by this headline on the BBC news website:

“I delivered a baby over the phone”

I am very concerned about this for a variety of reasons. I chose not to read the article lest I became more alarmed. I have never been one to let ignorance of the facts deter my forming an opinion, I believe, indeed, that it is one of the criteria to which you are compelled to agree when signing up for internet access.

Was the baby downloaded from the cloud? If so I shall be considerably more circumspect in my use of the device if that is the case. I have no wish to press an icon that I assumed was a link to an app that updated me with the plot synopsis of the last 8 years of “Homes under the Hammer” only to find myself in possession of a newly born human. Does the technology only work with infants? Imagine your surprise to find that while you had been intending to check your email you had inadvertently beamed Gyles Brandreth down.

Even more alarming, mainly from the point of view of the baby, is the prospect of delivery by landline. One can only assume that the expulsion from the womb is a traumatic enough event without it concluding with a tortuous journeys down very thin cable via a junction box in Cirencester.

Don’t ask me, I can barely comprehend the mechanics of a propelling pencil.