functioning.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

On the bus home the other day, I looked out the window and saw that we were driving parallel to another bus on the motorway.


Suffering as I do from chronic nosiness, I looked at the people in the window seats and noticed one boy listening to his iPod, staring at his phone. The lady in front of him had fallen asleep, and the man in front of her was eating a sandwich and reading a magazine (quite a skill. I can’t read and eat at once. Things tend to fall out of the sandwich onto the page, or I can’t keep the book open, or something like that).

 

Another lady was daydreaming out of the window, and then the man in front of her was listening to his iPod and staring at his phone, and the boy in front of him was listening to his iPod and staring at his phone, and the girl in front of him was listening to her iPod and staring at her phone, and the man in front of her, and in front of him, and him, and her, and him.

Something about it made me shudder.


While technology can be wonderful in many ways it is also quite isolating, and doesn’t do much for individuality. All of those people probably were listening to different music, and texting different friends, but they just looked exactly the same. Robotic.


I got a fright when I looked down and realised I was sitting in exactly the same position: phone in hand, music in my ears, vacant expression. I bundled it all away and pulled out a book instead!


As an aside: The book I was reading was on satire - I’m looking at it for an essay - and this paragraph from it make me laugh a bit:

[A writer] tells of a guest at a large party who said to the host, 'Who is that ugly woman sitting by herself?' 'That,' said the host, 'happens to be my sister.' 'Of course,' said the embarrassed guest, 'I didn’t notice the resemblance.'
~ From An Introduction to Satire by Leonard Feinberg (1967).
Ho ho.
(pictures from: here.)

2 comments:

  1. A little flash fic of mine that your blog reminded me of...

    Wires

    So I was walking down the street the other day with wires in my ears blasting rock music that makes me feel good and I watched the world pass me by.

    There were wires everywhere. Everyone has them nowadays, some link to some must-have technology that gives us status and comforts us in this big harsh world of tall buildings, daunting choices and scary things called conversations. We’re all linked up to our machines as if in preparation for later life when we’re attached to other, more complex machines in the twilight of existence. Those machines pump mechanical and scientific life into our dying bodies just to keep us living every last second of this half-life that we lead. A half-life because we’re all too busy listening to MP3’s to really take the time to hear what others have to say. A half-life because we’re all too busy watching TV to really take the time to look and see what is going on in the world around us.

    And even though we’re all different; with different music, different computers and different mobiles we’re all just the same. We all fear the world we live in, what it has become and what we will be because of it. We all long for something more. We beg for attention and that shot at fame. Desperate for that one connection we were all promised in fairy tales and the many more that could help make this half-life full.

    How much more of this wandering lonely through a crowd can one life take?

    ReplyDelete
  2. (copying my comment from Facebook:

    Oooh, this is spookily similar to what I was noticing! Great minds think alike, eh :) It is quite eerie though, isn't it? I saw them all on the bus and thought of that doctor who episode (!) when everyone walks about with little gadgets in ...their ears...

    In saying that, though, I do like my iPod. Paradoxical emotions.

    I like it :) and thank-you for posting it! xx)

    ReplyDelete

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