Technology, Mobile Phones, and Narrative

Technology, virtual reality, mobile telephony are examples of devices that people created to banish loneliness. For example, in the fictional village featured in the novel One Hundred Years of Solitude (the story about a family where everyone has the same nickname and name etc.), the plot would have been totally unviable, had the characters had access to technology. Many important works of literature may have had to change their name to someth6284ing more suitable if the types of technology we have today had been available in the past centuries.

The famous novel by James M. Cain The Postman Always Rings Twice, written in 1934, which later became a film, might instead have been named “The Postman Always Sends Two Texts”. Samuel Beckett would have had to change the name of his famous tragicomedy in two acts by something more suitable, more techie. For example, in the story about two men waiting in the middle of nowhere for the arrival of a third person that never appears, Godot’s phone is probably dead or out of coverage area.

In The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde would tell the story of a young man who always stays lush, unwrinkled, because of a pact he made with Adobe Photoshop, while the picture on his phone, his face gradually, hopelessly, loses definition and pixels. With technology as a part of everyday life, the witch in Snow White would not consult the mirror every night about “who is the most beautiful woman in the world?” She would probably have an App on her smartphone or let Tinder decide how beautiful she was based on the matches she gets.

All the intrigue, secrets, plot twists in films and literature would probably fail in the era of technology, mobile phones, Google, and wifi. All the romantic films in which, in the end, someone runs like crazy against the clock through the city, amidst the pouring rain, because their beloved is about to get on a plane, would be solved with a four-line SMS.