Tuesday, April 03, 2001

technology or the use of...?
Technology opens new worlds of communication for people all over the world. There are many excellent reasons for people to own and use cellphones. The dangers of technology are often over-rated and emphasised... At the same time, while the technology itself might not be dangerous, the uses to which it is put are. Reading about how a depressed youth was receiving messages prophecying his own death makes me wonder if I am arguing for the Bomb - nuclear power can save lives... and kill.

Anonymousity coupled with easy access and the sensation of real-time communication makes sms-terror as serious as telephone-terror. But we have laws to punish threatening letters and telephone-stalkers. The same laws should apply to these messages, and we should be aware that the humans using technology won't change with the technology. Communication systems have always been used for harassment of others. SMS messages spelling "This year you will die" fit neatly into the pattern.

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