Column for life: The whole world in one hand | Life & Knowledge

by time news

What is really important What touches us today – and does not go away tomorrow? It’s the things that have moved us since human existence has existed: happiness, love, family, partnership, time, stress, loneliness, farewell, grief.

BILD columnist Louis HagenComing from a German-Jewish family, he sought answers to the eternal questions of mankind from poets, thinkers and researchers. And found a few answers that are amazingly simple – and yet can enrich our lives.


How can you be such a fool. Then you go out of the house: washed, dressed, shaved, had breakfast and off to the office. Everything as always – everything?

I forgot my cell phone!

Almost there by bike, there is no turning back. Arrived at the desk, quickly call the neighbor. She has my apartment key and is supposed to check my cell phone, I’m expecting an important WhatsApp.

Then the sad realization: no smartphone, no neighbor’s number. Everything is stored in the digital phone book. All numbers. I know my family’s by heart. I called them when there was no cell phone. And to make matters worse, I don’t have a backup. No number is stored anywhere else.

BILD columnist Louis Hagen

Photo: Wolf Lux

The curse of modern times: More than 60 million Germans have a smartphone, and they usually have it with them.

But everyone knows that too – been too late, overslept, forgotten your cell phone. There is even a word for it: Nomophobia, short for “No Mobile Phone Phobia”. Those who suffer from it get anxiety-like conditions. A British study has shown that two thirds of all cell phone users have experienced this before.

The cell phone, a piece of our life, almost a part of the body. I sometimes catch myself typing in the empty palm of my hand.

When I talk to my children (long grown up) about the time without cell phones, they look at me as if I came from the Thirty Years War. For me it is still a miracle that you hold the whole world in one hand with your smartphone. Anyone can do this whenever they want, at any time.

I love classical guitar music and was looking for a rare piece by the Spaniard Andrés Segovia. It wasn’t long ago that I should have found a specialist in this music in a record shop (as they used to say). After a lot of scrambling, he might have found the piece if it had ever been pressed onto a plate. Now I’ll put it on Youtube – in a second I’ll be able to hear and enjoy it.

How fast the technology is developing can be seen wonderfully on our cell phones. In the early 1990s I had my first C-Netz cell phone – a block made of metal. How proud I was!

To test whether it worked, my father had to wait for my call at home on the phone (landline of course, there was nothing else). I got through once. He called it “Service to the Son”.

My father was over 70, I was around 50. It was like two children playing. How grateful I am to him today.

I smile when I think about it.

Louis Hagen (74) was a member of the BILD editor-in-chief for 13 years and is now a consultant at the communications agency WMP. You can also find his texts at: More about the author:


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