Beneath New York’s streets, the transit authority offers free wi-fi. It’s a nice distraction for when the trains are unpredictable. This works fine in a subway station, but not so much in a moving underground train. That’s when I switch to game apps or (ready for this?) a magazine. Yeah, those flexible readers made of paper.
Most of the chain stores now have those self checkout registers where you ring up and bag your own purchases. Cool deal for the retailers, who only need to hire one person to service several registers, dashing from one customer to another. There will always be a snafu that needs human attention, and I really feel for that employee doing the work of four or five people.
People are always queued up to pay. Many are whiling away the time on their cellphones, especially when free wi-fi is offered. That’s not the store being nice, it’s to keep us busy and docile. It’s sort of like distracting a toddler with a bright toy. And yes, I read emails while standing in the self-checkout line.
The walk-and-read crowd makes me want to say, “You Are Not That Important!” Honestly, unless you are nanny-camming your babysitter, this can wait until you are not weaving and ambling in front of me.
There is a series of powerful tv ads called “It can wait” that urge people to stay off the cell while driving. They’re heartbreaking, showing the last, happy moments in innocent lives before they were ended (or at least, changed) by distracted driving. I tend to keep the phone in my back pocket or charging out of my line of sight in the car. I think it annoys people that I don’t answer calls when driving but I’m sure I do other things that bother them as well. Just add this to the list.
Mobile technology is a great equalizer. Knowledge is available to all. It’s pretty cool that I would look something up online the same way a wealthy person would. The internet is free.
I like modern tech. I am comforted that my loved ones can find me when they need me. It’s so much easier to make plans when everyone has a phone. I enjoy getting a joke or cute picture. More importantly, the prevalence of cellphones makes reporting emergencies faster and easier.
Devices are great, but they are simply an enhancement to real life.