Don’t contemporary book characters have iPhones?

In my best Andy Rooney voice, did you ever notice how characters in books and movies don’t use smartphones/computers/theinternets the way that people (we) normally do? This goes beyond the idea of sitcom killing cell phones, though. Think about the last contemporary book you read. Do smartphones exist in that book? Are they used in any meaningful way by the main characters?

From Where Are the iPhone Addicts and Facebook ‘Stalkers’ in Contemporary Fiction? by Joanne McNeil.

The average fictional character is either so thoroughly disinterested in email, social media, and text messages he never thinks of it, or else hastily mentions electronic communications in the past tense. Sure, characters in fiction may own smart phones, but few have the urge to compulsively play with the device while waiting to meet a friend or catch a flight. This ever-present anachronism has made it so that almost all literary fiction is science fiction, a thought experiment as to what life might be like if we weren’t so absorbed in our iPhones but instead watched and listened to the world around us at a moment’s rest.

Via The Daily Dish

Don’t contemporary book characters have iPhones?

2 thoughts on “Don’t contemporary book characters have iPhones?

  1. Could it be that writing about people using Facebook and obsessing about their iPhones just isn’t very interesting? We don’t get many stories that involve people using the bathroom or taking showers, either. (Tangent: I always though “24” should have shown Jack Bauer walking into a bathroom stall as it cut to commercials at least once.)


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