Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Modern life, with a smartphone in hand...?

Amish at Reading Terminal market
 " Everywhere I looked people were detached from everything around them.  From the beautiful produce, the delightful pastries, the never-before-in-the-history-of-man selections of great wines and cheeses.  The guys were not "checking out" the plethora of beautiful girls flowing like spring water thru the aisles.  The women weren't even noticing the displays of chocolate.  Instead, they did the "thorazine shuffle" with their carts aimlessly navigated with one hand and the rest of their being concentrated either on staring like zombies at the screens of their iPhones or Blackberries, or wandering without a compass while listening to something at the other end of their cell connection, eyes staring off into the middle distance.  "  [by Kirk Tuck]
From this fantastic blogpost, read the rest of it, it is worth at least 5 minutes of your time. The blog is called Visual Science Lab and is written by Kirk Tuck. Lots of great thoughts there! (and thanks PP for sending the link to me)

This is so true.  And as an owner of an iPhone, which can be incredibly useful at times, I am happy to admit that and I use it more often than necessary, I also see the horrible addiction possibilities.  I often think that it is the software opportunities, apps, and 'things' on the technologies that pull people in, more than the technology per se - things like texting (instant), Facebook (instant), twitter (instant), and the need to be connected, to whatever that might be - the instant feed of stuff you haven't asked for.  I am sure there are situations where these instant feeds can be a good thing, but if 95% of it isn't, then it is a problem. And it just pushes more people just to think about me-me-me or superficial snapshot moments, instead of less self-focused things with deeper reflections.

One of my students said 'I have to check Facebook all the time, I might miss out on something otherwise'.  What that something might be, was less important.  I think this me-me-me generation that is growing up now (and that includes people of my age too), are actually horribly afraid of being alone, being unimportant, or being self-sufficient without input from other people.  To lay in a sofa and read a book during a Saturday is considered weird.  Go for a walk?  Weird.  Try to produce something thoughtful or beautiful over a longer time, not an instant opinion or just reaction to something, is unusual. 

Life in the internet and wi-fi age has turned into fast, fragmented, and furious.  My best thinking time and planning time is the early morning walks, just me, a friend, and a quiet morning with hammering woodpeckers, sunrise in dewy grass, and right now, shining white flowering dogwoods in the forests.  No interruption, just one hour of walking and talking and thinking and figuring it all out.  Without any digital technology, but the iPhone is in the pocket if a photo is needed, but usually the photos turn out so bad on it, that it isn't worth taking one.  My old digital camera is a lot better, but heavier, so it stays home. 


kv said...

You are so right!! I see this every day at work. People get more and more egocentric, like they are the centre of the universe. And worse, people more and more lack self control. They simply can't wait anymore, not even for five minutes, like they are entitled to get my full attention NOW, when the best I can offer is an appointment in three weeks.

LS said...

Yes - incredible impatience. :)

I also think about this when I see modern TV program - everything in a hurry, blasting fast (and horrible and loud) commercials, so many things are for quick shallow entertainment instead of thoughtful and more processed slow thinking and action.

I wonder, will there be a we-we generation after the me-me generation?