: well, this was bound to happen :

It’s finally official, there are more of them than there are of us. We’re outnumbered. More of who, you ask? Mobile devices, I answer.

You shouldn’t be surprised, discouraged maybe, but not surprised. No one goes anywhere without packing at least one wireless device, millions of us have two or more. And in case cell phones aren’t distracting enough, honk honk, here comes the tablet.

Don’t get me wrong, I like having a wireless phone. I’d probably like it even more if I knew how to use the damn thing. I mean, it comes with a whopping 206-page User Guide — the approximate length of a physics textbook. By the time I get this monstrosity figured out, the technology will be obsolete and faintly nostalgic.

Much like live, face-to-face conversation. Have you tried to have one with a smartphone user? It’s virtually impossible. Throughout the entire conversation, their eyes are riveted to the phone. Their fingers tap away, zooming from emails to the internet to Facebook to Twitter to texting. You, poof, are invisible. Go ahead, wave your arms. Snap your fingers. Hello? Remember me?

Nope.

There’s something unsettling about coming in second to a phone. I’ve yet to go head to head with a tablet, but I imagine the results are the same. If not worse.

You know, I like to think of myself as a witty, engaging conversationalist. I like to, but I can’t. Not when an inanimate object is better at capturing and holding another person’s attention. As a test, I quietly vamoosed in the middle of my last ‘conversation’ with a smartphone addict and it took the guy twenty minutes to realize I’d left. My self-esteem has yet to recover.

When tablets start proliferating, showing up in coffee shops and restaurants and the gym, well, I figure the battle is lost. I may be in living color and 3D, but so what? I’m not backlit, my memory is limited, no thousands of apps, no bells, and no whistles. What chance do I have?

If I’m lucky, I’ll get the same rapt attention as a Wal-Mart greeter.

Copyright © Publikworks 2011

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12 Responses to “: well, this was bound to happen :”

  1. Lenore Diane

    You’ve given me a way to rationalize the conversations I have with myself. Conversations with myself are the only way to keep my vocal chords active in this day and age o’ smart phones.

    Like

  2. ceciliag

    John has one.. a tablet that your truly STUPIDLY bought him for christmas.. however when i segue ACTUAL gibberish into my Monologue, (and i am good at this.. drama teacher remember) it only takes about 3 or 4 really long minutes before he looks up and says”What?” c

    Like

    • publikworks

      First of all, what a great Christmas present. And, secondly, that’s a terrific solution. Thanks for the tip, cecilia.

      Like

  3. Jan Simson

    I bought an iPad about a year ago. Then I bought my MacBook Pro. Now I don’t use my iPad anymore. Oh technology…

    Like

  4. Angie Z.

    I don’t want to brag here but I own a cell phone that was probably made in the 1990s that I carry around purely for emergencies (admittedly, I count “forgetting what flavor of yogurt my husband wants” as an emergency). I have no clue how to send a text message and can barely figure out how to answer my phone when it rings. I’m pretty sure my 4-year-old has already surpassed my tech skills, and when I interact with smart phone users, I probably sound like George W. talking about “The Google.” Thanks for allowing me to purge :)

    Like

    • publikworks

      It’s my pleasure, Angie. It’s comforting to know I have company in my all-thumbs approach to wireless technology. Come back and purge anytime.

      Like

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