Monday, 11 April 2011

The future of our social lives

I recently found this amusing poster somewhere in the depths of cyberspace and it got me thinking...

Is this a vision of our future?

Whilst sitting in the pub a few weeks back with two of my friends, a waiter commented on the fact we were all sat there on our phones and not talking to each other. One of my friends thinks that this is what future generations will consist of, groups of people sat together in a seemingly social gathering, and yet all communicating with various other people via mobile phones.

When you put it like that, it seems like such a strange thing to do. Why go and meet up with your friends and then decide to talk to some other people that are not present instead? Is there some kind of allure that goes with the idea of having so little time that your social occasions must overlap and you need at least two or three on the go at any one time?

And yet, I find myself texting people just for a chat even when I'm with a group of friends. Not because I find the current company dull, but it just seems like people crop up in my mind that I haven't spoken to for a while and a 'no time like the present' approach is the way I take it.

I think my favourite point that this poster effectively protests against is illustrated but the section 'At no time is it permissable to sit idle and observe the poetry of life or look into the eyes of another person'. We are so much attached to the world that our mobile phones create, switching between texts, Facebook apps, messenger apps and the latest funny photo a friend has sent, completely oblivious to our surroundings.

And so much can pass us by! I have to say, one charm of travelling is that I don't tend to have my phone with me a lot, for fear of rinsing my bank account. This allowed me to take in the world around me, soaking up views and sights whilst sitting on the bus or sat in the window of a coffee shop.

I often find the same thing goes for cameras. When you find yourself in a new place, of course you will want to snap away and make sure you capture the moment to look back on. However, it can often be very easy to see something you want to remember, quickly take a shot and then abandon the sight altogether. I sometimes find myself hardly taking the image in with my own eyes.

And so, with that, I challenge you all to let go of these handheld devices and take a moment to enjoy the company that surrounds you at present, or bask in the scenery with the built in camera you have been blessed with, your eyes.
(Could go one of two ways. You leave you phone alone and then come back to it and have a million messages and missed calls; winner. Or, none at all, which can be ever so slightly devestating. I'll leave you to decide whether you want to take the risk.)

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