Remember When We Had Mobile Phones?

At the risk of sounding like a total hypocrite, I want to rant about our society’s current, complete obsession with mobile phones. Although, I’m as guilty as probably everyone else, it’s really starting to bug me in a major way.

Earlier tonight I was in a bar in Sydney. All around me, there were people oblivious to the world around them, totally focused on their mobile phones. Though I totally understand the mobile phone is the “modern day cigarette” (what you do when you have nothing else to do), it still annoys me. You go to a bar, you should be out and about chatting to other people, and all you do is slowly drink your beer, with your head down, oblivious to your near neighbour. In fact, you actively ignore them!

It really craps me that even people who are together do it too. You see two people together (maybe on a date) and they’re both interacting with other people (or just websites), instead of each other.

And worst of all, you watch people scroll through other people’s lives so quickly. You see people who should be engaging with the amazing content of their friends (their photographs, the amazing parts of their lives), and yet it’s “scroll, scroll, scroll”, like they’re flicking through TV channels on their remotes.

I’m sure it’s only a short-term thing. Like the rubik’s cube. Yeah, I’m sure it is. We’ll get over it. Sadly, I do it, too, and I’m trying to stop! Join with me.

Mobile Phone

5 Replies to “Remember When We Had Mobile Phones?”

  1. I agree with you completely and have been trying to be better about this! Particularly I’m trying to be aware more of the external environment – like paying attention to my surroundings (the weather, the passers-by, buildings, traffic – anything) while waiting for something/someone,

    I love the screenshot of your home screen. Apart from the ubiquitous mail/weather/calendar/maps, we only have 4 apps in common. I had no idea you were on instagram!

  2. James, I absolutely love this blog. You nailed it. You hit observational truth. It’s wonderful. VG

    Sent from my iPad


  3. We are living in transitional times with mobile phones. People are missing buses and trams because they are engrossed in their phones, and with earphones in their ears. They are walking into people and poles. I’ve seen people accuse others of being preoccupied with their phones instead of paying attention, only to note that the person who criticised does the same thing. People are not tuned into their surrounds at all and put themselves at risk. It was a few years ago when we dined at a restaurant popular with Chinese people. The next table were all young, probably students. They were all on their phones as they chose their meals from the menu, yet once the food arrived, phones were down and they talked. As I said, we are in transitional times. However, people do need to observe mobile phone manners. I am sure if you google it, you will get the gist, but do it beforehand, not when you are at dinner. Hmm, kinda of wish that I made this my own post.

  4. I’m hoping you’re right also, Andrew. I’m hoping the technology remains new enough that we haven’t really worked out yet how it impacts our lives. Thanks VG, much appreciated. Carol – you’ve inspired me. I don’t really use it that much except for following Swedish celebrities (there isn’t a specific app for that yet!!) but have added my feed here.

  5. I’ve just returned from Bali and on one night a long table of (I think) Japanese teenagers were seated near to us. Every single one was deep into their mobile phone. Their meals arrived and to a person their dishes remained untouched until they must have turned cold. Finally one started to eat and in turn all the others followed each eating with one hand and manipulating their phone with the other. Once finished eating each started a cigarette with one hand maintaining the mobile action with the other hand. I doubt more than a dozen words passed between them during the hour or so we sat alongside.

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