For nearly 100 years the humble landline and resident home phone rarely got anybody into trouble. There are of course occasions where the handle was left off the hook, running up charges. Yet you couldn’t be fined for using it while boiling potatoes nor for holding your child’s train set controls.
The mobile phone on the other hand could be one of the world’s most troublesome technologies. Not entirely because of what it contains inside but the way it is used. Who’d have thought that such a small device could be such a huge distraction. Your mobile phone could cost you your life, thousands of pounds, a prison sentence or mere palpitations…
Ultimately, the old phrase, a bad work man always blames his tools rings true. As this technology has been invented by man alone, it is only ourselves and the inability to understand our tech that is to blame. Let’s look at several ways your mobile phone could get you in trouble. Unless of course you think before or while using it.
Although written into law, many people who drive cars and lorries still use their mobile while driving across the UK and Europe. Screaming children, chatty wives and beautiful woman crossing the road have not been legislated against, but use one hand to talk to someone and answer that phone and you’re in trouble. Most likely points against your licence and a fine.
People have been known to be distracted and cause accidents so the law is in place for good reason. There has also been an increasing trend to walk along the high street with mobile in hand. Especially since smart phones have become more commonplace with social apps updating our friends with the latest info. Important stuff like, “eating at McDonalds” and “got an headache from last night” information we seemingly can’t do without.
Being transfixed with eyes on screen has lead to people being run over while crossing the road, going for an impromptu swim, walking into lampposts or simply annoying other pedestrians by walking into them. In China special lanes have been set up on paths for mobile phone users who don’t look where they are going. Talking of being a nuisance…
Mobile phones have become such an annoyance when it comes to phones going off in awkward places, that places of entertainment and theatres have installed technology that directly intercepts mobile phone signals and prevents incoming calls. Ensuring that any recanting of Shakespeare is not interrupted by a technology four hundred years out of place. “Doth thy neighbour dream to respond to thine bird’s call?”
Concerts and events are not only plagued by mobile ringtones, the resurgent video camera installed within can also create difficulties. While holding your phone aloft to record what one thousand people are already recording and will be uploading to YouTube in an instant, you are not only annoying people behind you trying to watch, but also breaking copyright law by making the recording the first place.
Camera technology, however quaint and not nearly on par with sophisticated stand alone camera equipment, can also see you put in prison or fined heavily for using the camera in places you shouldn’t. In the UK you are not allowed to take photos of vital infrastructure or military installations, even prohibited from using certain photography on the London underground and in shops. Freedom and technology do not appear to go hand in hand yet.
It’s been over a decade since you could start updating the internet and browse. Should you use the device to transmit comments that are offensive, you can be held to account for spurious accusations or being rude and defamatory. Possibly leading a to a fine, a technology ban or imprisonment.
If you forget to switch mobile networks or go ‘roaming’ you may also be liable to a a hefty phone bill when crossing borders or when off on holiday. Some people have been surprised by a £5,000 bill on their return leading to financial ruin.
Holidays are of course a place to escape, relax and get away from the daily grind of both work and long term relationships. Though not everyone plans on having a holiday affair, it can happen. Your mobile contains evidence that could work against you. Display text messages on the front of an iPhone, detailing who calls and messages are from. If you are playing away, you may well be caught out by your very own mobile phone. In my view – it would serve you right!
Finally, a man who had already been imprisoned at HMP Dartmoor was found to be in possession of mobile phones. While prisoners today are afforded the luxuries of televisions and Play Stations, a mobile phone isn’t one of them. On top of his current sentence, a judge ordered him to serve an additional six months. Seemingly not even a prison can protect you from the trouble a mobile phone can get you into.
Has your mobile phone ever got you in trouble?
Let us know your tales of mobile phone woes and how your trust in technology has seen you fall foul of the law and friends. Add your comments below. It may be a little ironic, but it seems the safest place you can use your mobile phone without getting into trouble, is in your own home. Anyone for a landline?