Phones In Fiction

One privilege of creating picturebooks for a younger audience is that young characters are not expected — necessarily — to carry phones or other connected devices. In contemporary fiction for adults, authors must now completely reimagine traditional plotlines. This makes everything harder, as articulated by Robert Lanham:

I find it impossible to write fiction that’s set after 2002. Not because I’m a Gen-Xer waxing nostalgic about relaxing to Morcheeba on a distastefully stained sofa I found partially torn apart by a dog in an alley. (Oh, the glamour.) It’s just that it’s inconceivable to depict contemporary times authentically without including interludes where characters stare at their cell phones instead of advancing their plotlines – their lives – towards some conclusion. Which is, as a thing to read, mind-numbingly dull. Unless I write “and then his Galaxy 4’s battery died” no one can ever get lost, forget an important fact, meet a partner outside of a dating site, or do anything that doesn’t eventually have them picking up a phone. So I’m stuck writing about an era where Ethan Hawke was considered the pinnacle of manliness.

– from Your Phone Is Ruining You For Us at The Awl

Things We No Longer Need Because We Have Smartphones from Laughing Squid

Oh, and what have Kindles killed?