Veteran of the first Gulf War, Chris Ryan talks to Rhona Ganguly about the development of communication technology and the impact of graphic wartime pictures on society.
He has been described as one of the toughest men in the country having escaped death following an eight-day trek across Iraq and Syria in the early 1990s.
By the time Chris Ryan completed his 200-mile journey, he had suffered sleep deprivation, starvation, diarrhoea, severe dehydration and countless physical injuries.
But for the former SAS trooper, whose mission earned him the award of the Military Medal, images of death and destruction caused by war - experienced by the armed forces daily in Afghanistan and Iraq - have become a norm for households in Britain.
Yesterday, during a 48-hour challenge to promote T-Mobile's mobile phone internet technology, Ryan said television and internet viewers were no longer as affected by the pictures they now have access to.
In many ways, he said, they had almost convinced themselves they were watching a soap opera or playing a computer game.
"The speed of technology is changing completely but it is a two-edged weapon," he said. "It is in real time and you can see exciting pictures as you can see what is happening when it happens. But there are complications with that. If a car bomb goes off and there are civilians being injured, maimed and killed, these pictures are being viewed almost like a soap.
"When we are watching British troops, we forget this is real life and not a production. It is like you are just watching a video game or a movie."
Although he said it was important for people to realise the reality behind the pictures, he stressed advances in technology could also benefit the armed forces.
He said: "It would have been a lot easier on the first Gulf War. We had 17 different radios and when we got into Iraq, they all went down.
"We couldn't get help, communicate or send back information of where we were.
"Now, with technology, you can take pictures of what you have seen and send it back."
Last night, Ryan completed a two-day urban trek with a Thames speedboat rescue in the capital after earlier in the day taking part in an assault course with West Bromwich Albion skipper Jonathan Greening.
He had previously abseiled down the Manchester Imperial War Museum and trained with an American football team in Leeds.
Armed only with a Nokia N95 handset and T-Mobile's "Web n' Walk" technology, he was given clues to decode using the service, which provides internet access to customers.
Using the phone, he had to work out where his challenges would take him and find a way to get to them.
His Midland task began with a clue asking him to meet the captain of a regional team, ranked second in its league.
He eventually found himself at the Baggies' training ground in Walsall, where he whipped a bemused Greening into SAS-style shape - to "improve" his performance on the football pitch.
But the former soldier conceded defeat, claiming he was no fan of the game and was "rubbish" at the sport.
"It has been interesting," he said. "As a 40-year-old guy, I have never played football so I was rubbish at this.
"Understanding the challenge was quite easy.
"I just got onto the Sky Sports website and they gave me the position of the club and said who the captain was."