Will Self is one of the contributors to a 22-page special on the meaning of mobile phones in the current issue of icon magazine. Self’s piece argues that the young use their phones to navigate through the city like bats use sonar.
“Like bats, orienting themselves by a method similar to echolocation – signals flung to masts, flung to satellites, flung to the hum-cooled sub-basements of bypass-land then bounced back to their irradiated ears – the teenagers move about the city. All rendezvous are highly provisional: We will meet at X at Y except in the case of Y … In any event, there is no need to fix the point of intersection in and of four – or more – dimensions. It is achieved by continuous recalibration, so that they do not meet in the accepted sense, but home in on one another.”
Update: This piece is now available to read at the icon website here.