If you’ve ever sat down for a coffee with me, or any other social engagement for that matter, you will have had about 1.5 minutes tops before my eyes made their escape and in one swift movement my hand had reached into my pocket to retrieve the most addictive thing I have ever known. Nope, not a mini tea cake, or my crack supply… No, something far worse than those two things combined with a gambling hooker – Yes, that’s right:
Yes, nod away… You know what I’m raving about here. Its time to admit it, I am dangerously addicted to my iPhone and all the good/bad-ness that lies within its high-res bowels. It appears these days it doesn’t matter what social occasion or situation I am in, I find away to bust out that sweet electronic devil and start diving into my eWorld, sending the message to whoever is in front of me that “my whatsapp universe is more interesting than this….”
You may have also been in my presence when I have embarrassingly been on the hunt for wifi, shaking perhaps as I attack hotel/restaurant staff in search of the wifi password. It seems I have no shame when it comes to my fever for connecting my precious to Skynet so I can start sucking down digital charlie in the form of Whatsapp messages, Instagram pic likes and 160 character updates – All designed to fuck my attention span in the process.
Its appalling… To the point of it being a bit freaky. Why can’t I ignore that ping, that vibration and that little red dot yelling at me how many whatsapp messages I haven’t replied to. How is it that a virtual world or group can make its way up the priority list ahead of the person in front of me. I literally feel a burst of excitement when the person I am hanging out with pulls out their phone, as this is ‘weapons free’ to me! Jump in and go for it… Don’t just check whatsapp, hit Instagram, twitter, Strava and Pinkbike in a frenzied assault until I feel the gaze of them looking at me with that “what a cuuunt” look on their face. In fact, if I time it right I can find myself in a perpetual loop between the following:
Whatsapp >> Instagram >> Twitter >> Whatsapp >> Strava >> Whatsapp >> e-mail>>Pinkbike…
What triggered me to talk about this? (aside from the fact there is nothing riding wise to talk about) Well, on the plane heading to Desert HQ I watched the movie ‘Her’, its a kooky, but very cool little tale about a dude who falls in love with his Operating System. Well, hard not to when its the voice of Scarlett Johansen… The hardest part of the movie is listening to her #makemeallwarminfunnyplaces voice for 1.5 hours and never actually getting to see her, aside from feeling ripped off, it did make me wonder…
Where the fuck is this all going?
If me and people I know are like this now and these things are relatively new, (none of us were whatsapping like fuck 4 years ago were we?), then what is going to happen to the children god dammit when they are growing up on this shit? I’m not usually philosophical like this, but it does make me wonder. Especially when these little things have found a way to weasel themselves into every part of our lives, no matter what your penchant or how you take your Majito, there is an app or 8 just for you, case in point:
These little apps have embedded themselves in my phone and therefore, in my life… They beg to be tapped by my fingers and each time I do so, they say “fuck yeah” as they know they have burrowed deeper into my world. Whilst I was pondering all of this, an e-mail popped into my inbox, which I checked within 0.3 seconds of hearing the ping and here is what it said, ironically starting with “Getting Better”:
I LOVE Garmin (except for the massive hardware failures) and so this was exciting… I started to gobble up the marketing shit like a beaver locked in the woodwork shop, it all sounded awesome: High Res screen, awesome… Detailed maps, cool… Wait. What? What the FUCK:
Incoming call and text notification
Fuck off… you did NOT Garmin. What?! So, we’re going to be out on a group ride and aside from the annoying start/stop beep, we’re now going to have people getting pinged by their Garmin when they get texts or phone calls? Way to fuck the ride. “Never mind the scenery, I am getting another text guys”. Apparently the future is here and its awesome, well, it sounds pretty cunty to me to be honest.
We go riding to get away from our phones (unless we just HAVE to take a pic for Instagram)… To either enjoy the scenery on the MTB or to embrace the pain of a sweet interval session on the road bike. Its bad enough managing my smartphone addiction as it is, not to mention fighting the invading army of power meters that also want to detract from our riding (ok, so I can no longer ignore their training benefit, it does work fuck it).
Lets face it, Sarah Connor was right, the machines are coming for us, led by my smart phone and now the Garmin 1000, ironically that number designation is strangely familiar to most people, an ominous sign:
Yes, we are going to have to rise up against the machines I am afraid. I tried to rally people against power meters and failed miserably as they assimilated me in Borg like fashion, but fuck, if anyone turns up for a group ride with their new Garmin 1000 set to “notify me of incoming cuntery”, stop that shit immediately… BAN them from the ride or take their new 1000 and make them use an old 500, it may be half the number, but at least it can’t interrupt your riding.
So – I am not sure what the motto is here, but perhaps next time you’re at coffee with someone, turn off the phone, hide it or just leave it at home and focus on being present with them. I have little to no chance of following my own advice, but if I can convince one person to, then I will consider that a win in the battle of People Vs Machines… Who knows, you may even enjoy it:
And to finish, to keep it real and human (a feat HR Professionals seem incapable of doing these days), and to save you from the suffering I endured during ‘Her’ of hearing and not seeing Scar Jo, here is a reminder of why its significantly better to love the real world and not the virtual one:
Disclaimer – This post took 3 days to write due to being interrupted by Whatsapp and my attention span now resembling that of a 4 year old with divorced parents who’s just been fed 2kg’s of sugar before being sent to the other parents house.
I enjoyed your post about social media and it’s addictive qualities…it’s the most ANTI social phenomenon of our times! I don’t want to be ‘face booked’, I want to be Faced!