Advantages Used well it frees up your life.
Disadvantages Used badly it spoils the lives of others.
Yes, mobile phones are both revolutionary and fantastically useful, as well as intrusive and potentially antisocial. What matters of course is how the phone is used, for example, the company it is used in, or where it is used.
My mobile phone has enhanced my life without a doubt, but when I use it in company I often feel embarassed and rude, and when others use theirs I feel irritation and bemusement. Why? - because we are social animals, polite ones at that, and are reluctant to foist our life on others by talking loudly so a small plastic box, while others listen (and yes, they do listen).
Mobile phones don't impress anyone anymore, they are a social tool and not a fashion item, although that's not to say that the press-on covers don't liven the things up a bit. So the phone should now be neither seen nor heard, as discreet as possible. I use my phone to organise my life and my nights out, and when it has done the job it is put in my pocket. Don't wear it on your belt or put it on the bar, pick a phone that is small enough to fit in your pocket, and perhaps one that even vibrates. A phone that takes away the need to have it permanently turned on is also useful, by telling you who called and when. Answerphones and text messages are almost as useful as the phone itself, as the messages are easy to retrieve, even on a busy train.
Mobile phone etiquette is of course a voluntary thing, and one that is unlikely to come naturally, after all, your mother will not include it with your potty training. If you are a modest individual with a degree of concern for others then this doesn't represent a problem - and if you are not, then most likely you are that loud annoying individual on the train, braying and bragging to all and sundry about your little life. At worst you are a dreadful bore, at best you are unwittingly entertaining everybody else who realises that their lot is far better than yours.
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