I don't like the telephone, and the past decade of innovations have just annoyed me more. The idea of everyone having a combination pocket computer and Star Trek communicator would once have seemed brilliant to me; but now it all seems about as interesting and glamorous as everyone carrying around a fist-sized can of Lysol, and only slightly more useful.
Bruce Sterling wrote the following in 1988, about a character who had something basically like one of these "hands-free" cellphone attachments we have now:
«He kept mumbling[...], shaking his head and talking into the air. Like a madman. It was odd how peculiar it looked when you weren't doing it yourself.»
Here on my island off the coast of America, I have started seeing more people than usual walking down the street while gesturing madly into the air and talking to the ground a few feet ahead. And around here, only the slightest cues of dress distinguish the moneyed and secure from the unemployably insane. So it's always great fun to keep and eye out to see whether that passerby's urgent conversation about "and I said I gotta get on with my life!!" is directed toward a tiny black plastic headset in their other ear, or toward the less electronically mediated voices in their head.