Editor’s Note: Swimming against the digital tide

Published Oct 1, 2022


When is a cellphone a computer?

When the phone manufacturer wants to benefit from lower import tariffs for computers.

However, the Supreme Court of Appeal has solved Samsung’s identity crisis by siding with the tax man in its classification of the tech giant’s Galaxy S7 as a phone rather than a computer.

No doubt a particularly sophisticated, smart device which can perform many functions beyond its primary purpose of transmitting voice, but still a phone.

Alexander Graham Bell would scarcely recognise a modern version of the device he invented, and I wonder if he would approve of the bells and whistles they come with, and their effect on our lives.

No dinner table is laid until a phone sits beside every plate, and “checking in” now means telling the world which airport, hotel or country you are at, accompanied by the requisite selfie at said location.

I’ve banned the children from bringing phones to the table, preferring to engage them in conversation on topics from Formula 1 racing to South Korean pop group BTS.

I’ll take a contrary view (even if I don’t believe it) to stimulate debate, and I’ve been treated to lessons on environmental management from the student child.

Am I fighting a losing cause?

Will they continue the tradition with their children, or will there be several devices of the day at their tables?

I can’t predict the future, but I’ll continue swimming against the tide while I can.

The Independent on Saturday