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April 24, 2009

Eyes wide shut

I'm completely fascinated with all the people who wander around Los Angeles tethered to their electronic leashes. I mean they're technically ambulatory, but while they walk around they never look up from the small gadget in their hand. You see them everywhere, bent over and completely sucked in, they flick and touch and scroll around compulsively. These are humans but they remind me of lab videos showing rats pushing the lever over and over again for a fix. Men, women, old, young, business suits, dresses ... it can strike anyone it seems. They all hold some kind of electronic device, a fancy phone or crackberry or whatever, and they stay more connected to that tiny pile of circuits and metal doodads than they do with the actual living world.

I know this because they don't pay attention to where they're going, and I've stopped moving out of their way and we now collide in the plaza outside my building. And in the hallways and in the stairways. They're pecking away like chickens, completely engrossed in the gadget, unaware of humans and daylight and traffic and smack!

Fascinating.

Myself, I have no desire to have a phone so exciting that it makes me unaware of my surroundings, my friends and my city. I don't want to be hunched over staring at a tiny screen all day, I don't want to be interrupted in the bathroom or at lunch or when I'm on the bus to get an email from someone at work telling me the printer is low on toner. Or how about the urgent email that just says "Out of office - on my blckberry - will call u later." Just call later, it's no big deal.

I am fairly certain I feel this way because I am old.

Posted by laurie at April 24, 2009 4:05 PM