I’ve heard the phrase ‘don’t exaggerate’ a million times. Another phrase I’m sick of hearing is that it’s ‘unsociable’ to sit on your iPhone or iPad in, what seems to be, every social scenario available.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I hate not being given the attention and respect that, I believe, anyone engaging in any kind of mutual communication deserves. I hate holding one half of the conversation with the back of a hand and the top of a phone, and the other half with an intermittently ruffled forehead and fluctuating brow, while the suspect, consistently distracted, partakes in the discussion semi-consciously, with one eye on your face and the other on Facebook. But the thing is, we’ve been doing this for years anyway whilst we’ve been sat in front of the TV.
Our phones and tablets aren’t to blame
They just provide us with another outlet. A chance to switch off or engage our brains in something else or escape. Something more engaging? More exciting? More thought-provoking? This is something that people have been using the TV (and alcohol) for since its commercial inception.
And… And I bet that the people that say ‘it’s rude to sit on your iPad’ are the same people that won’t entertain a conversation during Coronation Street unless there’s an ad break. They’re the same people that give you a eye-contactless, half-hearted, mumbled ‘I dunno’, if you ask them a question while Jeremy Clarkson and the Top Gear crew are cracking on.
My Nanna’s a prime culprit. She hates anybody being on their phone while she’s in the room or having a conversation with them, yet you try asking her where she keeps her Hoover during an episode of Bargain Hunt and she’ll have your fuckin’ head off quicker than Henry VIII.
Please don’t take this as an advocation of technological intrusion or rude distractions in specific social situations because it’s not. I hate it, too. All I’m saying is, don’t blame technology. It’s been going on for years, but we’re only noticing it now because we’ve got more opportunities to zone out if we want to. We no longer have to follow the programming schedule or wait until we get home from work or until we’ve had our tea.
So the difference between TV and tablets is…
that there is no difference. We zone out and disconnect ourselves from the people around us when we’re sat in front of them both and, when we do, we miss out on what really matters… Life.
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