It’s very interesting as we mark the 12th anniversary of the start of tweeting and the 20th of the start of texting if you look around you in any public gathering (and many private as well) to observe the number of people gazing intently at their smartphones.
If it is indeed a phone, are they reacting to something incredulous they’ve just heard? Not likely if you notice what they are doing with their hands, particularly their thumbs, and their eyes.
A large part of the population, most of whom do not qualify for the OAP, have transformed themselves from telephone and face to face conversationalists to tweeters and texters. While engaged in these practices they seem to exist in some kind of separate universe, cut off from those of us who may wish to communicate with them eyeball to eyeball. To complicate this situation the fact that their phones are mobile so that you can walk around while gazing at them or try to drive with one hand while thumbing with the other leads to all manner of incidents, some tragic and others quite funny. Sadly the former are occurring with increasing frequency while the latter often captured as a video clip by someone else’s smartphone do provide us with some comic relief. Who cannot laugh at the pratfalls of someone focused on sending or receiving a text message walking into a swimming pool or just tripping on a curb while crossing the street. Or accidently dropping a $300 device into a toilet or under the wheel of a car or truck can make one chuckle, if it’s not your iPhone. Surely someone is working on producing a texting version of America’s Funniest Home Videos.
This phenomenon is unlikely to go away anytime soon, but perhaps science will eventually take the smartphone out the hands of the user and place it surgically into their brains where it may do less damage, but still give rise to a little humour!
The next meeting of the Vernon PC Users’ Club is Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Schubert Centre in the cafeteria. Call Betty at 542-7024 or Olive at 542-8490 for more information.