Married to my BlackBerry: A Social Spectacle

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Have you ever gone out, and noticed just how many people are on their Blackberry? Check out these scenarios.

Scenario 1 (Liming in a bar)

Girl: Excuse me. Can you take out a picture of us please?

Guy: Yeah sure; not a problem.

Girl: Ok. Take it out when we have the shot glasses in our mouths. *Hands stranger BB*.

Guy: Ok. *Snap*.

Girl: It didn’t come out good, take it over please.

Guy: *Sigh*. Alright. *Snap*.

Girl: Cool. Thanks.

…Ten seconds later…

Girl: *Gently taps stranger on shoulder* Can you snap another picture with three of us please?  Use these two phones, snap it twice ok. Also, make sure you get us with the cherries in our mouths. *Hand phones to guy and poses with girlfriends*.

Guy: *Snap* x 2

Scenario 2 (Dinner at a restaurant)

*Snap*  *Snap*  *Snap* *Snap*

No way dude. Did you just snap a picture of your dinner to post on Facebook? The food was meant to be eaten, not played with!

Our social lives are slowly being morphed into a ‘social-techie-spectacle’. Gone are the days when a group of friends went to an event, and had genuine fun without being totally consumed with using their smartphones and other PDA devices. When we look around today, scores of people can be seen sending emails, browsing the Internet or just plain pretending to be doing something on their phones when they should be having good, ol’ fun and interacting with the person(s) physically in front of them.

Why is this not the case? Why can’t we leave some of those activities for when we’re in the office or sitting at our computer at home and not at a party? I’ve come up with a few reasons for this change in our social behaviour.

Some of us are in dire need of constant attention from our peers, and, as a result, we see it fit to share every detail of our lives. The world must know what we’re having for dinner, exactly where we are at the moment, and who else we are liming with. We can only have fun if we have an audience. An old head once told me that the main reason for marriage is to have someone present to witness our lives. Life would not be fully enjoyed if we’re alone. So could this obsession be similar to marriage, but, in this case, marriage to our phones?

 

“Guys if you take a girl out on a date and she is constantly on her Blackberry, iPhone or whatever other model , then that may be a subtle way of saying you’re a lame-o.”

 

Another reason is boredom; yes that’s what I said. Guys if you take a girl out on a date and she is constantly on her Blackberry, iPhone or whatever other model , then that may be a subtle way of saying you’re a lame-o. The date is not interesting, so she has to seek entertainment in the virtual world to keep her awake. Now if this trend continues any longer, it may not be a good ingredient for the potential relationship be it infatuation or long term.  Something needs to be done to resurrect the date; a change of location could do the trick. Maybe somewhere that requires her participation in an event like a karaoke night or a game of pool. Other guys may want to work on their conversational skills a bit.

I went out on a date a few weeks ago, and the young lady was constantly on her Blackberry.  When asked what she was doing she responded, “checking messages”. Initially, I thought the problem was me and that she was bored, so I tried my advice above. Sorry to say this did not help, so I asked her to please put the phone away when we are liming and if she is here with me, be here and not in cyberspace. Eventually I had to release that “fish” back into the pond because she couldn’t help it; it was as if she was possessed by the techie devil.

Then we have those who I like to refer to as “never see come see”. Yeah. The “Johnny come lately” people. The ones who just recently purchased the phone and are overexcited like a dog in heat. These are the group of friends who would be liming around a table, having a drink and messaging the person sitting next to them. What’s up with that? No really? Oh and the phone has to be placed on the table where it can easily be seen by others. Everyone is dead silent and lost in ecstasy with their phones around the table. So why did the group go out in the first place? Why not stay in your respective homes and communicate?

 

“We’re wired to our phones.”

 

It’s as if we’re wired to our phones, responding automatically to every ping like it’s a natural reflex. Let’s also not forget the workaholics, the people who seem to be on call 24/7 and are forever responding to business emails. Hey, I bet your boss is not replying to work emails at 11 pm, and if he (or she) is, then that’s his (or her) business, and I mean that both ways. Some people overdo it, and unnecessarily stress themselves out. If you drop down right this moment, you can and will be replaced, so put away the phone and enjoy yourself. Unless you’re the President of the United States of America, or our very own Prime Minister, that work e-mail can wait until the next day.

Frankly, sometimes I wish we could go back about six years to a time when these hi-tech phones weren’t as popular. When the phone was mainly used to send and receive important calls, and when you were out hanging with your friends, you actually spoke to each other, laughed, knocked beer mugs, told stories and truly enjoyed each other’s company. We’ve become so caught up, bbming, tweeting and Facebooking, that even when we have people right in front of us, it’s like talking to a zombie.

 

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