Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Put a Cell Phone in It


At the heart of much speculative fiction (and fiction in general) is a question. What if? On Tuesdays I like to throw one out there and see what you make of it. Do with it as you please. If a for-instance is not specified, feel free to interpret that instance as you wish. And if you find this becomes a novel-length answer, I'd appreciate a thank you in the acknowledgements. 😉

I've done a lot of cell phone hating on this blog. In a classroom, they are a distraction. But, there are also so many benefits of having one. I know I enjoy mine.

I've been outlining a story. (My writing hasn't been happening for a while, so slow outlining is good.) It takes place in the future. And I've been working out how cell phones function in the story. But that's not the only reason this is on my mind.

So, today's question: What if they had cell phones? 

And I'm being very general. There was a thing on Twitter a while back about ruining a well-known story by including a cell phone. (Alas, I can't remember the hashtag to link to it.) There are also some fun articles with this idea. (This is fun: "23 Famous Movie Plots Easily Solved by Text Messages".) So, "they" can be whatever you want--old movie plot, old novel plot, your current WIP...

24 comments:

  1. I heard Tom Hanks give a talk about this very thing - that's why he prefers period films, because yoou don't have to deal with the cell phone thing.

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  2. Cell phones, the Internet, satellites to track people...many of those things would cut a story short.
    Although in some comedies and drama, just two people talking face to face would solve a lot of problems...

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  3. They don't use cell phones in Star Trek just communicators. I guess when we're designed to talk which is cool enough but technology is fun too. When it doesn't work its like hey whats going on? Does anyone have a clue, I mean really? No? blame it on the cell then.

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  4. I just had an image of Rick, Ilse and the rest of the gang having cell phones in Casablanca...it just wouldn't work as well.

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  5. They'd be doing nothing but watching dumb YouTube videos and texting.

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  6. They'd get into even more trouble because they'd be busy looking at their phones.

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  7. Cell phones would make everything a lot easier!

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  8. What an interesting thought. Cell phones would add all sorts of twists.

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  9. I don't think it would detract from the movie. Read a lot of fiction books that feature cell phones but they are incorporated in the plot. I think it could work.

    Betty

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  10. I'm imagining Indiana Jones with a cell phone. Doesn't work for me. The kids on Bob's Burgers? I doubt they'd have great adventures anymore.

    It's annoying when texting is part of a movie or TV plot. To me, the idea of watching a movie is to not read. Another thing I'm old-fashioned about.

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  11. I suppose all those courtly balls in Jane Austen and such would have a lot less intrigue if they exchanged romantic overtures via a WhatsApp group... yeah, I do enjoy being transported to a pre-digital time!

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  12. That's why I enjoy writing MG. I think YA relies too heavily on cell phones. They can clear up a lot of plot issues in a matter of seconds!

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    1. Or they could cause more complications. Imagine a misunderstanding going viral...

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  13. My main series is set in the mid nineties because I wanted that level of technology. A few characters have rather chunky cellular phones. My main OC tends to forget carrying her, making for some minor contention and plot points. ~grin~ My pet peeve in some of today's fiction is the (understandable) use of text messages. Mainly it's the shorthand I find jarring. I'm old school. Even my text messages are most often grammatically precise as possible. Thanks for sharing this. Be well!

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    1. I do the same. I will type out full words with no abbreviations.

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  14. I meant to say she "forgets to carry her phone". Ha!

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  15. So I've been watching the affect of kids having cell phones lately. They tend to be much more forgetful, distracted, and stressed out. Honestly, I don't think they're awesome for any society except to be used as a tool with limitations on exposure.

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  16. Nowadays, a number of crimes are getting solved because of the trail left by the phone calls or messages.
    But still, there was a very well-known murder case in New Delhi many years ago, in which a young girl was mysteriously found dead in her house. But the sleuths could never find the mobile phone of the girl.

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  17. In regards to yours it would be interesting why they wouldn't have cells in the future!

    I read one series that's set in the 80s but was written over the last decade and no cells. They're always having to stop to call people or not knowing info they could easily look up if they had a phone. I had to catch myself going just google it!!!! lol

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