I just witnessed one of the downsides to mobile phones (is ‘downside’ a downside to the Americanisation of our language?). Our postman just delivered the mail. I could hear him coming from up the street as he was talking on his mobile all the way here and all the way on. I remember (oh dear, it is one of those posts) when the post arrived and you had a quick chat to the postman before he moved on (and it was all men in those days). I used to chat to the two previous postwomen who did our route (latter was born in Adelaide before being removed to this country while still a baby) but there was obviously no chance of talking to the guy who turned up today.
So, I guess the mobile phone has made it easier for us to chat to our friends and family — that is, people we know — but more difficult to strike up conversations with strangers.