Seeing how everybody was walking – and scarily enough, driving – around with their noses firmly attached to their bleeding smartphones never used to make me especially sympathetic to the idea of owning a smartphone of my own. I used to frown upon the way I always had to jump out of everybody’s way, even when taking a leisurely stroll in parks or botanical gardens, since everybody was zombie staring at their smartphones rather than at the trees and the flowers, or even listening to the birds and the sweet bumble bees. I used to think it sort of depressing -and I still do – the way people seem to be living in their phones rather than in the real world.
But now I’ve gone and joined the ranks of the depressed, and for a very silly reason, too. I suddenly discovered that a poor sod can’t even afford to be downtown and suddenly find themselves in dire need of a pee unless equipped with a smartphone*. It may sound like a very bad joke but, alas, it’s not. You need a phone to pee. So I bought one. But I’ll be damned if I ever follow everybody else’s lead and have it glued to my nose.
Still, it’s all deeply worrying.
“There will come a time when it isn’t ‘They’re spying on me through my phone’ anymore. Eventually, it will be ‘My phone is spying on me’.”
Philip K Dick
Philip K Dick’s ‘eventually’ is already here. But also – and unfortunately – I do enjoy being able to buy a ticket whenever I need to go somewhere by bus, tram or train. (Without a phone you’re obliged to walk.) And I’m very fond of the Global Positioning System telling me how to find my way to the Kolmården Zoo, the car repair shop and other urgent places. And also, I’m secretly in love with the online voice activated translation application, teaching me how to say very important stuff in German, Singalese, Urdu and What-not.
*My brother-in-law suggested an astronaut’s diper, but I would only wear one of those if I were actually an astronaut.