Old Phones Off

One thing people notice when they visit Japan is how unusually quiet it is inside trains and buses. This is mainly because there are signs and announcements asking people to refrain from talking on their mobile phones and turning their ringers off. On most mobiles here the silent vibration setting is even labeled as "manner mode." People still use their mobiles, of course, but mostly just for checking mail or playing games.

In recent years, the courtesy seat area (see this previous post) of trains has been designated as a "no mobile phone" area, and you are requested to actually turn the power off if you are sitting or standing there. Supposedly the signal from a mobile could adversely affect anyone with a pacemaker in the vicinity. The area is sometimes designated with yellow grab handles adorned with the message pictured above.

What strikes me as odd is how outdated the mobile phone graphic is. Unless you have a really old handset, no mobiles have external antennas anymore. The first phone I had in Japan back in 1999 actually looked like this graphic and had a screen about that tiny: J-Phone's JP01 by Panasonic (I had the dark blue one on the right). Wonder when this logo will be phased out to be replaced by a generic smartphone icon.