Mobile phones 'second worst invention ever'


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Jul 29, 2005
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Matt Chapman, 15 Feb 2007

Mobile phones are the second worst items ever invented, according to a recent BBC poll.

The communication devices were beaten only by 'weapons' as the worst inventions in a survey of 4,164 people for the BBC's Focus magazine.

The weapons category captured 35 per cent of the vote and included items as diverse as guns, explosives, biological weapons and atomic bombs.

Mobile phones were the next worst invention, according to 17 per cent of those questioned. Nuclear power, television and the Sinclair C5 came joint third with nine per cent.

"When contemporary inventions such as the car and the mobile phone, which apparently enhance modern living, get voted as the worst inventions ever, it makes you realise that technologies and 'objects of desire' that seem to play an integral and important part in our lives may not in fact be pleasing the masses, " said BBC Focus editor Paul Parsons.

Surprisingly, religion snuck into the top 10 with two per cent of the vote.

The poll ran on the Radio Times website and web surfers were allowed to type in any answer they wanted.

The top 10 in full:

Weapons (35%)
Mobile phones (17%)
Nuclear power (9%)
Sinclair C5 (9%)
Television (9%)
The car (6%)
Cigarettes (6%)
Fast food (3%)
Speed cameras (3%)
Religion (2%)