We’re all becoming slaves to technology, but some people are taking it to extremes. Are you committing any of 2015’s big phone faux pas?
The walking disaster
You can use a phone and you can walk, but you shouldn’t always do both at the same time.
Look around and it’s easy to spot someone strolling absent-mindedly as they use their phone, the moment when they bump into an oncomer and even drop their handset as imminent as the next sunrise.
The city can sometimes look like a street full of walking dead, with people’s gazes focused on the touchscreen block in front of their faces and not on the beautiful things around them. Watch them mash into poles, garbage cans, other people. It’s hilarious.
Until that other person is you.
That’s because when you weave to avoid of one these zombies there’s a chance their peripheral vision doesn’t kick in the way you’d expect to. They will side step in synch with your weaving, forcing you to execute a triple walking shuffle loop to avoid them.
Fail in this manoeuvre and the ensuing clang of bodies is exactly how technology shouldn’t be used to help connect people.
The silent meal
There once was a time — we think it might have been the ’50s — where people sat for dinner and joined in conversation. The talk may have been academic, gossip, opinion or just the general trivialities of life. Regardless of what it was, it involved words, and people looked at your face when these were exchanged.
These days, though, meals are a quieter affair.
When you sit down for dinner with someone, there’s a good chance you won’t be the exclusive focus of his or her attention. Their eyes will be diverted to the phone or tablet screen resting on the table, and they will be chewing their food while digesting information from Facebook, Twitter, or a website or two.
Now, you don’t need to stop online socialising, but the dinner table should be a real-world experience, rather than one split between the real and the virtual world.
By all means, seek permission from your dinner partner if you want to take a call or check a message, but make an effort not to constantly be on your smartphone. Because real-life is better, and that’s true even when the company you’re keeping isn’t as interesting as your Twitter feed.
The constant selfie