Thursday, 7 April 2016

Life Thru A Lenz

The other day I walked into my living room, stared at the woman sitting there and said; "Who are you?"

Well, not quite - but I might as well have because it's got to the point that I don't recognize Herself unless her face is lit by the glow of cat videos screening on her mobile phone.

It's often the case that we will put on a film to watch and we might as well be in separate rooms.  

I am only marginally better - switching on my portable computer pad maybe 3-4 times during a film and more if its a programme that is only just holding my interest.

Sometimes I wonder how we got from a world where a telephone was a big lump of plastic sitting in a booth three streets away to one where you can't walk down a street without having to jump out of the way of someone who is avidly reading something on their screen, where it's somehow ok to have a phone in your pocket that costs £800 plus whilst people starve and go without water.

I regularly travel for up to three-four hours a day to work, sat on a train with a bunch of other people.  During my time i generally have a go at the free newspaper's crossword (that I only ever seem able to finish on a Thursday) and listen to music or a radio podcast on my phone.  I rarely look at the screen itself unless to check a text.

But I am the odd one out - 90% of the rest of the train are glued to the latest game/episode of some programme/youtube video.

And it's not just on the street or on the train - it's everywhere.  The people of the 21st century seem to have developed an almost insatiable need to be constantly entertained and it's a very real possibility that our attention span is suffering.

Just recently I went to a concert at a local venue.  It was the first big concert i'd been to for nearly 3 years.  Back when I first started going to gigs, before you needed a second mortgage to buy tickets, everyone was stopped and searched at the entrance and cameras taken away - something that is now impossible as everyone has a camera in their pockets.

And all through the gig there were people holding up their cameras; recording the gig, recording themselves - posting it on youtube or facebook...and it has to be said that the image and sound quality is amazing: almost professional standard and yet recorded on a phone.

But hang on a minute: there's a problem here.  It seems that it's not enough to go to something and enjoy it - for it to actually have happened you have to record it, share it on social media and have your "friends" like it

But are we, I wonder, losing our ability to live in the moment; to enjoy what we are doing right here, right now.

Do yourself a favour: put your phone/tablet away the next time you go somewhere or watch something: try and enjoy the world for what it is

Unless there's a video of cats available, obviously!


Stephen Hayes said...

Recently, I sat in a crowded doctor waiting room and I was the only one whose nose wasn't buried in an electronic device. I could have pulled out a gun and blown everyone away and no one would have seen me do it. Not that I would....

The Bug said...

Ha! Just yesterday I was at the doctor's office when a gentleman struck up a conversation with me about my phone (I was reading a book on it). His question was a bit different than the usual - what will our grandchildren think about our habit of always looking at a screen.

I was pulled very reluctantly into smart phone land - I only got one because my boss wanted to be able to communicate with me. Now I don't know what I'd do without it - it has my books, my word games, email, my task list (I would be LOST without that!), plus the usual suspect of Facebook. I admit I'm one to always want to be doing something - if I'm not looking at the screen, I'm crocheting. But at least crocheting leaves me more open to interacting with other people!

Roxy said...

I completely agree. I'm always having to check myself - I get pulled into something - a new little iphone game; wandering into facebook land; checking for twitter news update - I'll look up and think - wha??? 45 minutes??

And then I go to bed wondering where my day went.

If I can barely turn off the machine, how do we expect ten year olds to do so?

My hubbie and I are trying electronic sunsets. No devices for the last hour before bed. It makes a world of difference. I have been slacking. I need to get back.