i-Phones Anonymous - (Updated with 'Men,Women and Children')
I watched a movie this week called 'Men, Women and Children'. On a personal level I hadn't realised how altered our relationships, society and culture have become as a result of the IT revolution and the affect these changes have brought in less than twenty short years to our humanity.
As a writer it has been awesome to have the capacity to research and write from my bedroom, to self publish on Amazon, to be instantly in touch with my friends all around the world. And to be rescued from the desert heat after my Kombi van caught fire by making an emergency call on my mobile phone would have me singing the praises of God and Telstra. But what is the real price for this technology?
I think Jason Reitman who wrote the screenplay and directed 'Men, Women and Children' touches on the edge of the reality of where big chunks of our society are at, as a result of this new age. Some parts of this film will be disturbing to many but Truth often has that way of shaking off the blinkers of how we think life really is.
Since watching the film I have been left to ponder my own existence and observe how my life has changed in my so-called wisdom years. The first thing I realise is that I've hardly picked up a guitar for six months. I'm young enough to remember when television came into our lounge rooms for the first time. Families stopped walking around the streets of their neighbourhood after dinner and talking to the friends. My family no longer went down town on a Friday or Saturday night to a cafe for a meal that was followed up by going to a double feature movie at the Regent Theatre, where we would meet up with hundreds of other people who were doing the same thing. But we did all sit together around the TV in the lounge room with some of our neighbours and watch some old black and white film.
Many social observers predicted at the time that television was the beginning of the end for human relationships. As I honestly take a look at how my own extended family now relates, I can see that I am surrounded by the symptoms of the 'dis-ease' that Reitman alludes to in his film. It kind of makes me melancholic for those adventurous hours spent roaming the woods and the old west with Lassie, Rin Tin Tin, the Cartwright brothers, Kemo Sabe and Rowdy Yates.
**The following is my original blog from March 2012
Cartoon: Mobile Phone Addiction
OMG stands for Oh My God, and LOL for Laughing Out Loud. Both are examples of SMS language or Textese (also known as text-speak ).
So as we sat on the train and I watched the new behaviours attached to this highly necessary social phenomena, as people grabbed for someone else's ring tone or message beep or continually scrolled through contact names, messages, missed calls or road maps they may need when next crossing the Sahara Desert, I tried to think how I could compassionately look at this situation, this new form of addiction that so nicely complements other established forms of distraction, in a helpful way, and I came up with this poem: