Technology, Mobile Devices, and Perception of Reality

If mobile phones had excontent-marketing-guideisted a few decades or centuries ago, what would have happened to literature, plots, and the development of characters? What if there had been a mobile device in the pocket of the protagonist? Not an old device embedded in a wall, but a smartphone, as they are today, with email, chat functions, text messages, live streaming, live face conversations or video conferences and the ability to make international calls in a matter of seconds.

When we open the door to this eerie theory, it is evident that technology would have shattered many creative processes in those writers of stories that went down in history as classics. With a mobile phone in her basket, Little Red Riding Hood could have been alerted by her grandma about the wolf impersonating her. With a smartphone in his bag, Tom Sawyer would not have been lost in Mississippi, because he could have called his friend or use Google Maps.

A huge percentage of the stories written (or sung, or represented) in the twenty centuries preceding the current one have had as the main source of conflict themes like distance, and lack of communication. All these came to be conceived thanks to the absence of technological advancements. No love story, for example, would be as tragic or as complicated if elusive lovers had a phone in their pockets. One of the most representatives and famous romantic stories in the history of literature (Romeo and Juliet, written by Shakespeare) bases all its final, dramatic tension and conclusion in a fortuitous event: one of the lovers fakes a suicide, which the other lover believes and, in consequence, kills himself; then she, upon awakening, commits suicide for real.

It is interesting to debate whether technology affects creativity in a negative way or, as many people believe, enforces creativity, given the possibility to share and create with the aid of a number of devices.