Mobile devices, Planets and the Human Condition

iAlone? iZombies invade....; iSolation

, posted: 26-Mar-2007 13:19


With the advent of the internet and increasing popularity of email, there were cries of "it`ll ruin the personal touch" along with games consoles this has really happened more and more often, people,

adults, teens and those who are retired, not just kids won`t leave the home.

But there is more to it than that.

So as a member of the internet generation,

whether a tech local or a tec migrant. What do you do when you _do_ actually leave the house? Even worse! You might have to interact socially with someone!


"Thank god! Apple has come up with the iPod! Now I can leave the house in a complete bubble of blissful unawareness!"

This is the gap that iPods fill. I have been using public transport a lot lately - its been about 2 years since I last used it frequently.

Oh, how things have changed,

I remember when you got on the train you used to at least briefly chat or at least do the old:

"hi", "hi", "how are you going", "good thanks", "thats good"

But now when you get onto public transport, you are lucky to get a blank glance from the person you sit down next to.

And sure enough, you note the "white tentacles of doom".

This one small device is wrecking all sorts of cliched meetings.

How many of you have heard of, or actually met, a partner on a train?

Whether successful or not, all sorts of people do.

But then the world can always do with a few less cliches!

But it seems to be destroying societal interaction.

Because aside from anything else - I'm sure more people are getting them simply because theres nothing else to do during your commute aside from listen to the sound of the train or bus.

Once there was a sense of familiarity on the daily bus or train and you knew the people on it, at least by their face, and what stop they got on.

This is being rapidly killed off.

Not only that but I would bet a hell of a lot more people lose things.

For a rather ironic example,

an iZobie dropped her sunglasses as I was writing this - if I hadn't picked them up and run after and given them to her - she would have probably lost them forever.

Even once I got her attention she gave me two blank "omigod a human is attempting spontaneous communication with me" looks before she realised I was trying to return her sunglasses!

Upon removing her drone phones she became normal and said

"thanks very much. I didn't realise I dropped them"

before replacing the dronephones and continuing on her way.

I think portable mp3 players are great. Really handy way to transport music and files along with a great way of listening to music on the go.

But there is a limit!

More pedestrians are being run over because (in the words of american State Senator Carl Kruger) they are in an ipod abyss. - completely and one would assume blissfully unaware of the world around them.-

The interesting thing is though, it doesn't stop the increased flow of communication, which is good and bad. But u can understand the whole zombie analogy if the sound of the world is blocked by music and the feel and visuals are blocked out by the attention of the phone.

Where will this take us?

Who knows, I predict eventually we will have phones / ipods with safety software.

Perhaps radar proximaty or collision detection.

The other issue around the iPods, and the general lessening of social interaction is the fear that is seen among the general populace. however I may or may not discuss that at a later stage.

A final thought,

Imagine in a few years time, a bank robber goes in to rob a bank - yells "everybody down this is a robbery" and absolutely noone pays any attention because they are lost in their own little world... crazy, but possible.

EDIT: Turns out someone has had even more thought into this,

Other related posts:
iPhone Rates and Plans with Vodafone
Apple, Apple, Apple. whats going on Steve? don't like my signature?
The best web based iPhone app yet! Scenario Poker for the iPhone.

Comment by lugh, on 26-Mar-2007 15:24

<quote>white tentacles of doom</quote>  I like it!

What about cyclists in the iPod abyss?  How many of them need to get killed before they realise that perhaps it's a good idea to be able to hear follow users of the road - especially the big metal ones?

But, talking about social interaction, this article offers some comments (I like the Jobs quote):

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New Zealand

I'm a professional Geek, and also in my own time, I am likely to write about all manner of things on this blog.
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