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Calling the new arms race.

Byline: 2015 Like us on It's a funny old world MIKE MILLIGAN

I'VE got a new phone . Ney option; me old one faded like the Toon's season.

Unlike Those at St James, however, I splashed out on a new one ,rather than just trying to get the old spare one to work. It's got lots of what-youme-call-its and thingies I'll never use; I don't understand them or they're utterly redundant in my radgie world.

Yet Some people seem to be impressed. Why - ah didn't invent the freakin' thing meself!

I think mobile phones are a bit like nuclear weapons or other Military technology. We can't uninvent them and go back to former peaceful times, before their existence. Moreover, like nukes, in responsible hands they might even be of some limited use. Although With both phones and weapons technology, there something of an arms race going on. We are increasingly caught up in a vicious technological spiral which demands the regular and expensive upgrading of kit . You Fall behind at your peril! So warn our politicians and the spotty kids behind the counters at the phone shops in the Metro Centre.

You get caught up in it. It's seductive!

We all feel deep pity for the doddery relative or caveman at work who still sports a silver brick that opens like a clamshell and has push buttons aa'll stickin' oot like a whippet's wotsits.

You don't wanna be that guy! Their desperately-deluded pleas that it 'does me alreet' brings to mind the hollow assurances given by the French General staff in early 1940, when they promised everyone that the 'tried and tested 'old Maginot line would keep the Nazis and their new fangled 'Blitzkrieg' at bay.

Still, can they really be happy in their technological Stone Age, or maybe have they shown wisdom by opting out of being judged by what pointless gizmo they own? You see the freaks and geeks queuing for hours at a well known brand's shop, waiting for the latest 'must-have' gizmo's release.

Their subliminal message is that 'hey, I might weigh 30 stone, have a face like a stunt man's knee, dress in black and can overpower any deodorant known to science - but catch a load of me radgie new wey-aye phone man, I'm ney loser!' Back in the olden days, before such wondrous mobile devices the decision to label someone a wassock, numpty or heed-the-ball was largely based on their actions, personal merits or character. Thankfully, the technology back then was simply not awesome enough to blind you to a person's shortcomings. A chunky digital watch with a press-button light so feeble it only lit up a fraction of the display, didn't get the school weirdo a hot date at the leavers' disco.

Similarly, acne, bad breath and poor patter couldn't be offset by the fact you owned a Ronco 'buttoneer' or had access to a K-Tel rotating vinyl cleaner. Moreover, neybody with specs thick enough to torture insects ever queued outside Woolies overnight to be the first geek on the block to get the latest soda stream or teasmade . To return to me phone, I have one more absurdity to share with you.

Firstly To swap networks was like dumping a needy ex - " don't leave mike, we've been together for nearly 10 years !" The final lunacy was having to phone a bloke in India to port over my phone number; he was very nice but after 20 minutes on hold he passed me on to his mate who could 'sort it.' .' She was also based in the sub-continent but was, after some effort, unable to help either. I was finally passed on to the right guy... based where? in North Shields.

It would have been easier for everybody if I'd just driven over there me'sell! Givowwer!


You can get caught up in the seductive world |of new phones with gadgets you'll never use
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Apr 28, 2015
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