It’s crazy to think that a parallel universe exists alongside our own, and people can jump in and out of it at will. It allows us to live double lives and be in infinite places at once. It provides jobs and augments people’s interactions with friends and family. Although it can provide entertainment, money and popularity to some, this universe has a dark secret; it does not really exist, except in people’s gadgets and minds. Despite this, it has a remarkable ability to pull people away from reality, enticing them to spend more and more of their lives inside its virtual space. So strong is its draw that people even use it to deliberately waste their own time, to waste their lives.
We call it the Internet.
Phonies on the beach/Instagram
This video basically sums up my previous article on Phonies being distracted by technology and failing to engage with friends and family. The message is that we should all “look up” from those screens and see what is happening around us, talk to people and live our lives. We need to use our phones in moderation and be aware of the appropriate times to use them, or more likely, to keep them firmly in our pockets.
So I’ve recently realised some people are much less sociable in group situations than they surely were when phones weren’t quite so versatile. These people, I like to call ‘Phonies’, are constantly sidetracked by their phones; the temptations and draws of social media and nifty, ‘time-saving’, trending, gadget-like apps. Constantly engaging with dozens of little ‘helpful’ apps can save seconds and make a day run smoothly, but they come at a cost to friendly interaction. Often Phonies don’t listen to your story, thoughts or questions, they just vacantly stare at their screens instead. In extreme circumstances Phonies appear to distance themselves from the group at times by busily checking what people are tweeting about or what they’ve got up to and posted on facebook or instagram. I say it’s simply not worth it. We desperately need to be able to separate our time spent engaged with our phones and time spent fully engaged with our friends! Otherwise we’ll just continue this demise and eventually won’t be bothering to talk much at all. And it’s infuriating and boring to be around friends who are full or part-time Phonies.
I would almost go so-far as to say that I’m offended that a shiny LED screen can sway someone’s attention from talking to me. And unfortunately the rise of Phonies has the potential to spiral out of control, especially as phone use can be contagious. One person engages with their phone and others get bored/offended/jealous and soon immerse themselves in their own tech, leading to conversational inertia. And the young may be at greatest risk due to their high exposure to tablets and games at home (see this worrying article), resulting in the incomplete development of their basic abilities to socialise, befriend and network. Result: a world full of Phonies, like the two depicted below in a new piece by Banksy called “Mobile Lovers”.