21 January 2011

Wired for bumping into people

Ever since mankind, (please don't ask me to use "humankind" thank you very much) learned to stand on their own two feet, (I'm talking about people, not European economies) the way we walk has remained pretty much the same.

Granted, we learned to walk upright, (in fact crooked politicians and officials were amongst the first to master that particular art!) and you no longer see anyone walking hunched over, arms dragging along the ground, (although I guess it depends in which social circles you move) but apart from that, the way we walk along the street remained pretty much the same.

Until recently.

No one looks where they are going anymore.

Walk down any High Street in any town or city, and you will have to sidestep fellow pedestrians who have their eyes down, focused on a little square or oblong box with white wires leading to their ears. They appear totally oblivious to everyone and everything else as they squint at what is in front of them. It's as though those little boxes have somehow taken possession of their minds and bodies and directed them to keep on walking no matter who or what may get in their way.

Even if they sit down, the fixation doesn't stop. There they are on benches, buses or those comfy seats provided by shopping malls, totally transfixed by their little boxes.

Personally, I can not understand the attraction. In fact I was thinking that yesterday as I sat in a coffee shop, Tweeting on my mobile while the MP3 player belted out Joe Cocker!

Wherever you may be - be safe
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