Life is becoming increasingly difficult for people who refuse to acquire a mobile phone. There are few public telephones nowadays - and even fewer that work - and the majority of people are forgetting the art of forward social planning, at least with any rigidity ('I'll call you when I'm there').
Now, at least one bank is insisting, for security reasons, it must send an SMS message each time a customer makes a transaction online: no mobile phone number, no transaction.
'If a few people do insist on being Luddites, that's their problem,' you may say, but there is another aspect to consider. The health implica- tions of mobile-phone use and living close to the relay towers have yet to be fully understood. Experts cannot rule out a future rash of cancers associated with this modern convenience.
Let's hope we do not one day look back at the bank security initiative as being the equivalent of having asked a customer in the 1950s who wanted to wire funds to light up a cigarette to prove the box he pulled out of his pocket bore the brand he told the manager he smoked.