What The Kids Are Up To:
The texting takeover continues. Being back in San Francisco, around people my age, has shed a new light on how reliant the youth of America have become on texting. I was in Germany all fall, where I had a phone that cost 1 per text, which, needless to say, far exceeds the value of a couple of LOLs,or anything that cant be communicated the old-fashioned way. That is to say, by actually talking. In Philadelphia, I was surrounded by a less text-savvy crowd, so it wasnt until I came back to the Bay that I realized again how prominent texting culture has become.
Personally, Ive never been a huge fan of texting. Ill text someone when the subject matter is too short to warrant a phone call, but Ive found that organizing plans or checking in is far more efficient with merely a phone call. But I acknowledge that how someone uses his or her phone is a personal choice, and they can do as they please with their cellular device. I just have noticed that amid the mobile takeover, some pretty basic human functions have seemingly been tossed out the window. In just the first week home, Ive seen more instances of people blocking out the real world to be one with their phone than I have in the past nine months. On Tuesday, I witnessed a man walk into a stop sign that he failed to notice because he was sending out a (presumably) urgent text. You might think texting while walking sounds like a joke. TWW is anything but. Last Saturday, while picking up groceries, I happened to look inside a restaurant I was passing by, and saw a young couple sitting across from each other, looking down at their phones. I stopped and watched them for a few minutes, and throughout the duration of my time observing, they never once picked up their heads and gave each other any kind of recognition.
With the amount of attention our phones demand these days, it was refreshing to have a sustained period of time away from a handheld device that ran my life. But now that I am back in San Francisco, reality has kicked back into gear, and its clearer than ever that the technology freight train isnt slowing down. Ironically enough, Im actually getting a new phone this weekend. While I plan on using some of the modern features it will include, I certainly hope it doesnt come to the point where Im so engrossed in the device that walking down a sidewalk becomes a blindfolded obstacle course.
On a related note, check out this article about how, according to Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, the era of TV is over: