ET Phone Home!

ET Phone Home!

Telephones progress – Wikipedia

Comms have come a long way

As an ex British Army Signals Officer, I have spent some serious time tweaking antennae and radio dials whilst listening to crackling background noise trying to discern the nature of the message that was usually very faint and often intelligible.  So, these days when I marvel to my kids at the ability of being able to speak to my Mum pushing a trolley around Sainsbury’s in Wilmslow (Manchester) whilst I am on a boat in the Persian Gulf, they look at me with sympathy, disbelief and just shake their heads.

Initially developed in the 1940’s, it wasn’t until the mid 1980’s that mobile phones became widely available and these days – well they have taken over. Professor Google informs me that there are nearly 7 Billion mobile subscriptions worldwide – which is equivalent to 95.5 percent of the world’s population. We can argue all day how these figures pan out with more developed countries having multiple subscriptions and areas of Africa having little take up yet, but that’s beside the point.

In today’s society of mobile phones, the Internet and all the related techie apps, why hasn’t someone come up with a method of disarming or disabling a phone in a particular zone?

Take my experience the other day -I am sitting in my local bank branch talking to a customer representative and her phone rings …….and she answers it?!?

What is going on here?

I am the customer, I made the effort to come down and sit patiently in line in a hot, tired, advertisement laden space, with a ticket machine to determine my place in the queuing system and when I do eventually get to speak to a representative, she takes the phone call instead.

What right does she have to waste my time taking a phone call, when I am sitting there opposite her, face to face, expecting her to deal with my problem?

If you need to make a call to clarify something then that is okay.

If you subsequently get a call back confirming something has been done – that is okay!

But answering a personal call and having a conversation whilst I sit and hum – WELL, THAT IS NOT OKAY!

Hence my thought, “Why hasn’t somebody designed a phone app that disables the phone?”.

Actually they have and it is our lack of control that prevents us from putting the phone into flight mode.

The Dutch Oil company SHELL encourage all their managers to tell people who dial in and who are driving that it is “Against the Shell Health and Safety policy and to please hang up” They are then required to report the incident as a near miss.

We should stop allowing this technology to rule your lives – We are in control and we have the choice to answer or not. I have a personal rule NOT to answer the phone whilst I am driving PERIOD. Make it a rule to turn it off or put the phone in flight mode before you turn on the car engine. Put it in your bag or suit pocket out of the way and concentrate on getting to where you need to go. Especially if you are running late!!

If you have to make calls and texts – get a taxi or share the vehicle and designate a driver and a texter!


The average person takes 5 seconds to create a text. At an average speed of 80 KPH (which is a little over 22 meters per second) – that’s almost a FOOTBALL pitch every 5 seconds.

Please make a concerted effort to stop this crazy habit! Don’t be the person who has to live with the regret of having killed another soul for the sake of a phone call or a text!


Is your phone call or text more important than somebodies life? Take Action – You have a choice – make the right choice and turn it off!