It’s really come to this hasn’t it? Ubiquitous computing. That’s pretty exciting. Just twenty years ago, cell phones were the size of bricks, walkie-talkie-like, cumbersome. Which may have been a good thing. And accessing instant information? Call KU-INFO.
“Zagat restaurant guide says 63% of Americans frown on cell phone use during meals” (Source of quote and photo: The New York Daily News)
I began thinking of this yesterday when, around five, a car pulled up and stopped in front of my house. Inside, the three twenty-somethings were each texting madly away. No conversation was being held; among themselves at any rate. The boy in the bubble holds new meaning these days.
At a restaurant, one is more likely to see a scene like the one above than outrageous flirting across the table with a dinner companion. Just take a look around this St. Valentine’s Day. I’m not sure that figure is correct in the headline above. It seems like at least 63% of diners are playing with their electronics.
I have a friend who is constantly plugged into the cloud. Sure, it takes the onus off me — I don’t have to be entertaining, witty, or intelligent. I just have to be there. Perhaps to summon the waiter for more wine. But, it’s a bit off-putting as I’m not being entertained either. And that’s the fun of dining in company.
Texting whilst driving is just complete madness and scares me to death. I read a story somewhere that said that those texting behind the wheel had reaction times FAR slower than even drunk drivers.
Maybe it’s time to bring back those brick-sized mobiles. Or hope that pocket electronics get so small that no one can read the screen. It’s a shame. With the incredibly elegant advancements in personal computing and communications (aesthetically, intuitively, the whole package), we are being driven farther apart than ever. Isolated, albeit together.
I think it is far more elegant to be engaged with one’s surroundings.
Or, as we used to say, stop and smell the roses. Try it this weekend.