Symptoms of the modern age

I sat, book in hand, and took a moment to observe those around me in the pub.

Duo of girls, huddled around an iPad, their silence only broken by a falling satchel.

Single men, awaiting their companions, staring intently at social media feeds on palm-sized devices.

In the distance, a gathering of individuals from a different generation, laughing, interacting, reinforcing words with slight contact. Surrounding a long table, their animation a backdrop to the fixed silence of those focusing on portable media devices.

Exiting, I noticed a smartphone, albeit enclosed in a decorative case, was within hands reach of one of the members of the long table. This is a symptom  of our modern age; even those in the midst of conversation cannot resist the luring promise of social media: heightened connectivity, community, togetherness.

 

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9 thoughts on “Symptoms of the modern age”

  1. I went out for coffee with two people the other week, as soon as we sat down they pulled out their phones and began tapping away. Oh well I thought (used to this scenario) I will people watch. Sadly all there was to watch was a room full of people on their phones so I pulled out my own and booted up the kindle app.

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    1. It’s something I have experienced too. Perhaps it’s considered acceptable to start tapping away as ‘technically’ one is socialising just by being in the company of others. However, I think that the distraction of smartphones and the like are depriving us of the nuances of interaction on a personal, real-time, human basis. There’s something sterile about online social interaction, and I doubt that dismissing the importance of real life company can be healthy. I could rant so I’ll stop there.
      Thank you for reading, and for your comment.

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      1. Absolutely. The worst part is that it’s not just adults, children are now given tablets and phones to “keep them quiet” when out and about. It’s a sad image of the future. How funny that we should go out and feel lonely with so much “social interaction” at our finger tips.

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      2. Too true! One of the reasons I started this blog was to try and understand the reasoning behind the choice to disconnect from real life. Only to have discovered a rabbit warren of questions. 😕

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  2. I’m 45, and I’ve noticed that people my age are sort of straddling the line between the “older” generation (I may dare say) and the generations you describe. I’m one of the group that barely looks at my phone. I’ll admit that I adore my computer, but I leave it at home when I go out or see friends.

    Sometimes when I got a pub, even alone, I sit and daydream. Do the youth daydream anymore? I’d like to know that.

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    1. It’s refreshing to hear your point of view on this. Especially about daydreaming. The youth may well still daydream, but no doubt it depends on the individual, and their confidence in sitting, just sitting, and thinking.

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