The compulsion is to keep up with everything, to not miss out, compounded in relentless increments every time something pops up on the device you cannot now live without
It is something extra special, isn’t it, this smart, wired world when you are available 24/7 and absolutely everything and everyone is available to you?
No. With increasing frequency it is anything but.
When do you switch off exactly? When you are sleeping? Is that it? Does the endless chat and information torrent fill you with a joie de vivre, or, hand on heart, is it all becoming impossible to manage and rather nauseating/depressing? The compulsion is to keep up with everything, to not miss out, compounded in relentless increments every time something pops up on the device you cannot now live without. You know, the one that’s in your pocket at this very moment, or sitting on your desk or (ffs) on the table next to your plate.
The day is fast approaching when there will be therapy groups sitting in circles - Hello, my name is Ivan Obsession and I (ping) ........can’t (ping).......ignore pings(ping).
I so hope the woman who was driving next to me along the Diagonal the other day while also having a video chat on her phone is reading this. Staggeringly, she was oblivious to the traffic swerving out of her way and the cacophony of horns. So too the man in a van coming towards me on my side of the winding mountain road between Reus and Falset. I am most appreciative that he managed to finish his text just before he wiped me out.
What the hell is wrong with people? Every day I see someone either on their phone or texting while driving, and I do not spend much time on the road these days. Is the obsessive need to grasp our electronic dummies greater than the grossly obvious risk of being responsible for a death? Do you think this blind stupidity is reaching epidemic proportions? The technology may be smart, but such dimness beggars belief.
As a taxpayer I’m happy for the Mossos to have a day out on the top deck of Barcelona tour buses. Their colleagues in the UK, a nation famous for its double deckers, have been riding high to watch for unsuspecting motorists below who are taking a hand off the wheel and their eyes off the road. It has proved effective.
But let’s not view this issue of phones and cars in isolation. The constant rush of information and so-called communication is carrying us with it in our every day unsustainable haste, impatience and diminishing attention span.
The compulsion to juggle a phone and a steering wheel is because the notion of stopping is an anathema in this day and age.
I strongly suggest you do stop. A smart phone, tablet, laptop etc are extraordinary tools that have their time and place. While you are at the controls of a lump of metal hurtling along is not one of them.
And, as I am letting off steam, never, ever, let a ping interrupt real conversation . PLEASE.