Thursday, August 14, 2014

Being in the moment or being in the Network...

I'm so glad that I was brought up in a time when there were no mobile phones, no social media and no Internet.

Back then, during the sixties and seventies, we didn't even own a house phone.   We used the call box up the road and often had to queue for ten minutes for the privilege of using it!

These days people seem obsessed with their phones.  It's almost as though they live their life through their iPhones, Blackberrys or whatever.   Not only can mobiles make calls now, but there are texts, ways to log into Facebook, Twitter, Myspace.  You can Instagram and pin pics at Pinterest.   You can send photos to friends even video clips.   Video conference even.  When they can make me a cup of coffee or programme some robot to hoover the carpet, then I'll get excited.

But what people forget about when they're constantly checking their phones for updates and logging in to certain websites via their phones, is the here and now.

I remember when my children were young attending their Christmas school concert.  One woman was so intent on videoing her little darlings that she was jumping up in her seat blocking people's views and asking to change seats with people. 

She was not in the moment.

She was so intent on filming the event, she wasn't enjoying it and annoying other people at the same time who wanted to see their children live at a very precious time after queuing outside for twenty minutes in the freezing cold!

I'm not saying it's wrong to make videos.  I have several taken over the years myself.  But I'd far rather watch something live as it happens rather than worry about filming it.   I see the same thing happening at rock/pop concerts too and often those clips when uploaded to Facebook or YouTube are of very poor quality sound and vision.

Something which I find annoying about mobile phones, and yes, I do own one, but am not on it obsessively, it's not even connected to the Internet, nor can I sent pics on it.  All I use it for is to make calls, text and take the odd photograph.  That's all I need it for...

The thing I find annoying is this... I find lately if I go out with certain friends, they are slaves to their phones.  Constantly checking for texts, answering texts, answering phone calls that probably aren't that important, checking their Facebook accounts..."Wow she really posted that on her status?  I'm going to post a reply now!"  What about replying to me about the question I just asked you instead?

Why don't people just live in the moment?

I'm not saying I mind if someone occasionally checks their phone if it's that important, maybe they're worried if they've left the children with a baby sitter, or waiting to hear what time their lift is about to arrive, that's different.   What I'm referring to is the constant need to check their phones and block out the people they're with.  That's downright rude.

Most mobile phone calls if we admit it are non essential.  So often I hear people on their phones in the supermarket saying things like, "Do you want mushroom soup or tomato soup?"  Or on the bus or train answering their phones in very loud voices so that all eyes fall upon them, "Yes, I'm on the bus [or train].   On the bus I said!  I'm on my way home!"  They bellow.  Yes, we're all aware of it, we're on the bus with you but we're not SHOUTING about it!

This constant need to check up and check in, is it that necessary in most instances?  Will the world end tomorrow if someone chooses mushroom soup instead of tomato?"

Answering unessential mobile phone calls or texting has even killed people as they find it necessary to do so while they're driving.   Not only endangering their own lives but those of their passengers or other drivers/pedestrians.  Very rarely is a call that important it has to be answered there and then.  Maybe unless you're a doctor or paramedic and even then it's debatable.

Even the bus drivers are doing it.  The other day I found myself speaking in a loud voice in front of other passengers to say, "The bus driver is endangering our lives doing that...that call can't be that important."  Don't know whether he heard me but he put his phone down.  Other passengers agreed.  How can a bus driver keep proper control of a bus if his wife or other is on the phone distracting him?

One driver killed someone as he was busy sexting while he was driving a huge lorry.   That was sheer madness that he felt the need to do that whilst in charge of a vehicle.

I'm glad for time being I'm taking a break from Facebook.   So much time can be lost there.  Although some of it was productive for me at certain groups like the writing group and the history group and some social groups, there were times when it wasn't productive at all.

Instances when time was wasted looking at other people's wall posts and photo shares.  'Share this Post',  Often times, posts are shared and the photographs aren't authentic or there's no way to know if they are.  Some posts claim that if you share them Facebook will donate a dollar to poor Johnny's plight.  Really?  I doubt it very much.  Does Johnny's mother give you permission to share his horrendous pic of his skin condition on Facebook and is it really Johnny anyhow?

Far better to donate to a real charity.  No idea how sharing a photograph that could have been grabbed anywhere off the Net will really help anyhow.

Sometimes I think it would be nice to go back to the days before mobiles phones, social media and the Net, but then again if we did, I wouldn't be able to post this...would I?

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