As somebody who refuses to carry a mobile phone, I found myself nodding in agreement with this passage from Simon Raven’s memoir Boys Will Be Boys. He was writing half a century ago, in 1963, about what we now call old-fashioned “landlines”, but how right – and prescient – he was:
Cheap and easy systems of communication simply promote cheapness in what is communicated. If people have to pay 5/- for a telegram or take the trouble to write and post a letter, they think twice before they bother you at all. If they have a telephone, however, even the most trivial information takes on urgency. The telephone dispenses irrelevance like a tap which won’t turn off; it is also a dangerous instrument of interference and even persecution; but like most other so-called amenities of modern life, the telephone is essential for dealing with complexities which the telephone itself has caused, and it is quick to assert its tyranny at the expense of those who, like myself, would ignore it.