This morning, while my 3 year old and I were filling our bag with apples at the grocery store, a woman's voice came out of nowhere from behind me. "Well I know but I just don't know what to do!" Startled, I twisted my neck to see a woman standing there, both hands on her cart, staring straight forward, seemingly talking to herself. Remember when people talking to themselves used to be a good relative marker of an insane person? Or a person with 5 kids? *raises hand*
I looked again and saw what I was looking for...a small device tucked up under her ear and curving out to her mouth. As I continued pretty much STARING at the woman, she continued her conversation as she investigated onions, completely oblivious to me.
Why do people assume that everyone in public enjoys hearing private conversations? It almost seems like it's some sort of public bragging. "HEY EVERYONE! I'M IMPORTANT! I AM ON A PHONE! I AM TALKING WITH SOMEONE IMPORTANT RIGHT NOW! IT'S SO IMPORTANT IT CAN'T WAIT UNTIL I LEAVE THIS PUBLIC AREA. EVEN THOUGH WHAT I'M SAYING MEANS NOTHING."
I was forced to listen to a woman at the bank AT THE TELLER on her phone, just chatting away about her 4th of July party. Meanwhile the poor teller was trying to complete her transaction and trying to get her to get off the phone, and the woman kept holding up her hand as if to say "Just one more minute". You could have knocked me over with a feather.
Back at the grocery store this morning, I kept running into this woman, who's conversation was so important that it lasted for her entire shopping trip.
I don't know why I'm so annoyed by this. It seems like smart phones are replacing smart people. It seems like wherever you go, people are so plugged into their devices that they seem to be almost unaware that they are living and breathing and driving and crossing streets. Seriously. Do you need to stare at your phone while you cross the street? Step out and Meet Jesus!
I'm as bad as everyone else when it comes to obsessively staring at my devices like it's a direct line to ecstasy that fills my soul with very breath of life. But when I step back and have some perspective...it's super out of control in the world we live in. OUT OF CONTROL, PEOPLE. Do I really need to know the instant anyone likes my cat video on Facebook? I don't think so.
I was thinking about the woman in the grocery store, and I kept remembering the movie Wall-E when the earth's population (which evidently only ends up consisting of Americans), are all living the good life zoned the fuck out on a ship in outer space.
And by good life, I mean so fat and out of shape and plugged in that they forget they have feet. Or brains. "Hey! I didn't know we had a swimming pool!!!" This is us, everyone. This is us very, completely soon. Some of you are already there. And I say to you...RUN FROM THE LIGHT!
I see the value in smart phones and new technology, but I'm wondering if it's creating more harm than good? I am skeptical of a society which relies so much on devices and forgets how to be self-sufficient and maintain relationships IRL and talk without acronyms like IRL and LOL and BRB and OMG. Instead of our computers and devices learning from us, we seem to be assimilating into our devices. I'm sure this is a carefully designed conspiracy at the artificial hands of computers to turn us all into drooling human robots in order to be harvested for our energy and pounds of fat, which they will use to run their run their tentacle-like wiry motherboard as it destroys the universe with it's human fat powered deathray guns.
I feel the drain on my emotions and physical body after I've spent all day on the computer or checking text messages, etc. I see what it does to my children, too. It's mentally exhausting, bombarding yourself with screens all day long. And that's what the computers want. To turn us to human jelly. The brain mush comes first. And I have to say, I'm leading that pack.
Let's take some time to check out, people. Unplug. Call loved ones and hear their voices. Go for walks. Play board games with your kids. Take a bath. Read a book. Cut out pictures in magazines. Get your hands dirty in the garden. Grow something. Build something. Hang out in the natural world. Hug a tree. That's where it's at. Fuck computers and their dastardly plans. I'll have no part of it. Well, I'll have a small part of it, but hopefully I'll have some brain that hasn't turned to mush and be able to lead an alliance and form a confederacy of the next jedi human race and defeat the evil motherboard once and for all. At least that is how I see it going down.
And with that, I'm going to my women's Self Nurture class which focuses on being present and aware and using jedi mind tricks to do evil things to people who talk on their phones in public places. Good day.