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Though the program has yet to be officially approved by Apple, I have approved it as totally hilarious and totally necessary for those who order a liter of cola at the concession stand.So should we continue to embrace these technologies with eager fingers?This “absent presence” is all too common on college campuses, as Chris writes, where students are glued to their cell phones, chatting or texting, paying attention to their miniature screens instead of what is actually going on around them.It can be almost comical to observe “absent presence” in the classroom, where rows of students are eagerly texting away on their cell phones before, after, and during breaks in classes, often at the expense of talking to their peers sitting right next to them. Psychologist Kenneth Gergen thinks that this erosion of face-to-face community is a moral failing; Rosen adds, “It would be a terrible irony if “being connected” required or encouraged a disconnection from community life — an erosion of the spontaneous encounters and everyday decencies that make society both civilized and tolerable.” Is there merit to Gergen and Rosen’s point?
It’s called Run and Pee, a comprehensive list of convenient times to visit the bathroom while watching a movie at the theatre.Maybe, but the next time you find yourself walking to wherever it is that you walk, creeped out by the tranquility that surrounds you, just remember that it’s natural, even healthy, and at the end of the day remember: no one really likes Ari Gold.I think Chris is spot on that people are increasingly “creeped out” by tranquility; everywhere you look, people are glued to their cell phones, and it has become harder and harder to just sit in silence for a few minutes without feeling the urge to check your phone, send a quick message, or search through your phone mindlessly until the period of waiting is over.His comment that cell phones “are constructing the barrier between ourselves and the traditional daily events to which we are accustomed” reminds me of an article by Christine Rosen called, “Our Cell Phones, Ourselves,” in which she writes that cell phones have led to a “radical disengagement in the public sphere” wherein people sacrifice not only etiquette, but also engagement in the world around them as a result of being so cell-phone centric.Standing in lines at the supermarket chatting away, sitting in coffee shops hooked into our text messages, conducting conversations in person while checking our phones every other minute: cell phones have caused us to become “absently present”— physically in a place but mentally absent, off in another world preoccupied by our phones.
When you think about life before cell phones, are there aspects of it that you think would be wise to regain?