Am I the only one here who despises the effect smartphones have on society with a passion?
Smartphones. A computer, capable of sending rockets to the moon, that fits in your pocket. Technology is amazing. Wireless internet access anytime, anywhere. Technology is really fucking amazing. Seriously, what’s not to love about the little things? Not much, really. But take into account the human factor, and your tech boner will be gone before you can take a pic of your food, throw a shitty filter on it, and post it on the hottest social media platforms.
These days I can’t go from A to B without, at one point during my trip, looking around and spotting at least three people with their faces almost literally buried in the screens of their pocket miracles. “Why?” I ask. Myself, that is. But recently I’ve been mighty tempted to just walk up to one of those people and ask them just that.
When I was a kid, I spent a lot of time either behind the computer (wow, not much has changed) or playing on my GameBoy Color. People would often tell me I spent way too much time with these things, that my eyes would become squares, the usual talk, you know. But apparently nowadays it’s socially acceptable to be glued to a screen for extended periods of time? Not to mention the wide variety of situations people do it in. Hanging with friends at a party? Nuh-uh, gotta update mah status.
People always have a smartphone on them. A friend of mine recently said it felt really fucking weird, uncomfortable even, not having his phone with him. Whether this was because he needed it or because he felt like he forgot it is an entirely different thing, let’s just focus on that first sentence there. Social media plays a large role in this. It creates some sort of social pressure, pushing you to be “wired in”, connected to the internet, the world, at all times. It has become fairly unacceptable to not be contactable for even an hour. And even if you just feel like not replying to anything for a while, that’s a no-go as well. Annoyingly, many applications can tell you if the other person has read your message yet. The idea would’ve been pretty good if it was around back when messaging was still unreliable, but these days it’s mostly a tool for “social media stress” (a legit thing, by the way) to find its way to you.
I still occasionally get shit for not having a Facebook account. I don’t care about either of those things. I don’t want to buy into a system that explicitly requires only valid personal data, shares it with God knows who, and can be used by other people quite easily to bring your life to shambles. And if people want to contact me, sure, just sent me an email, a text, or call me even. Is it that weird to not want to do something, despite pretty much everyone capable of doing so doing it? I don’t give a shit about the masses, just let me go about my business the way I want to.
Back to the problem at hand though. It’s annoying seeing people walk across the train station, move into the train, wait for their stop, get out and bike home, all the while messing with their mobile devices. Why would you ever? Can’t you give yourself a moment of rest? And why would you whip that thing out at a party, if not to contact someone to pick you up? Oh, you’re playing some little game. Are your friends not entertaining enough for you? Oh, you’re talking to someone we don’t even know, good for you. But do you really need to do it now? Unless you need to get something arranged quick, why not try spending some time offline, with the people in the same fucking room as you?
Now go for a walk in the forest, and don’t you dare take your phone or whatever with you.