Put your phones away

Here’s a modern brain exercise. I wonder if you can pull it off. All you have to do is walk down a busy street WITHOUT checking your mobile phone. Tricky, right?

Yeah, mobile phones. I can’t use them, and this gladdens me. It’s like being a skeptic in a world where the majority  follow one fantasy or another (imagine that). Everyone seems happy with a life of texts and notifications, and it is fun. I have an iPad which I now use more than my computer or my TV, but I’d never want to take it outdoors with me.

People annoy me even more thanks to the spread of the mobile phone. Why look others in the eye when you can swerve into them on a street corner while you text your friend about how much you hate your other friend? Why take in the lovely view from the hill when you can sit on the grass and slam angry birds against a cartoon concrete instead?

It’s worst at the cinema. Five minutes into the feature, the guy next to me starts texting. Fifteen minutes later he checks the time. In another five minutes he’ll send another text. Half an hour through he’ll check the time again. Firstly I don’t understand why you need to know the time during a film. Whenever I watch something long, something I want to become lost in, I cover up all nearby clocks because there’s nothing that can bring you into reality quicker than knowing how far you’ve made it through a film. If you’re in a rush or need to be somewhere after the film, here’s an idea: check the film’s duration before you buy the ticket. Secondly, how do you relate to or a film character when your mind’s half-absorbed on answering your friend’s latest question in your 5,000 word WhatsApp exchange?

Conversations and mobile phones. This is an interesting one. I think face-to-face conversations can work OK with a mobile nearby, so long as the phone is just used to add to or bring up a relevant thread of discussion.

‘Here’s a video of puppies. Do you like puppies?’ = Good.

‘I’ll get back to you in a minute, let me just finish surfing lemonparty.com.’ = Bad.

I don’t know. I’m not really that bothered about mobiles, I’m just searching for some new topics to address. I might start a new series of posts titled: ‘If I don’t do it then nobody else should.’

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