Look, I admit don’t know what will eventually lead to the end of the world. But I’m pretty sure that the seemingly uncontrollable use of smart phones is one very solid contender.
I read a report recently about a chap in India who fell into a manhole while staring into his phone. One minute he was there and the next, poof! He was gone, smart phone and all. Then, there are all these stories we hear about our bright, multitasking youth texting while crossing roads. It’s bad enough that they trip over themselves and bump into other walkers but in some cases reported from Japan and Germany, some men and women have been texting so intently that they inadvertently tried walking through automobiles that came in their path inflicting significant damage on themselves. One dashing, amorous youth who had been captivated by some titillating pictures on his phone while driving, completely lost control and veered onto a wayside park.
At offices the world over, thousands of tele/video-conferences take place daily with participants vigorously posting selfies and status updates on facebook.
In our apartment block two days ago, the water supply suddenly stopped. Taps gurgled, hissed and finally died. A hundred calls flooded my landlord’s office. After patiently answering the first two calls, he flew into a rage, put his phone on silent and simply sat there, glowering. When he met me two days later, he was still bristling and red in the face. ‘I put up notices in the lift four days in advance’ he snorted, ‘Same as I do every year. But nowadays, people are only looking at their phones. Not left, not right, not anywhere else! Just staring at their phones as if their life depended on it. Not my fault!’
He has a point, I think.
PG Bhaskar is a private banker and has authored several books. He tries hard to keep up with the times @bhaskarpg and www.pgbhaskar.com. Look out for his weekly humor column on B-Change Saturdays.