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Robot Invasion

May 26, 2012
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Last night at dinner I was irritated that I couldn’t check my ESPN app for the score of the Rangers-Devils hockey game. There was NO signal. I believe we may have been in a lead lined restaurant. Actually, that’s some old fashioned notion. Does lead even stop a cellphone signal? Can anything? Three adults and four kids circled a table a few feet away. At the 11:00 position, one of the girls, about 7 or 8, sat on a woman’s lap, squirming for attention. The woman seemed annoyed as she stared into a small, rectangular glow. The man at 7:00 with his back to me stared into his own glowing world, oblivious to his surroundings. The third adult and an older child were similarly fixated. The remaining three children talked and laughed, smiles shining at each other’s faces.

I glanced back across to the position right in front of me and (play)Joyce was smiling, mildly bemused. I described what I’d observed. She smiled again. I’m guilty of the phone thing. Looking again and again at that stupid device is, I’m assuming, like huffing hits from a crack pipe; it’s an addiction. I looked at her. I love that face. The score of the hockey game simply didn’t matter.

Our phones are taking our faces away from their faces, and that can only be bad. Technology, I thought, was to improve productivity so we’d have more time for leisure activities, like going out to dinner with our familiies and looking into the eyes of those we love. Like old fears of robots taking over the world, it seems our technology has taken over our lives and now rules us. Well, some of us. We’ve let it take over. There’s a cliche about work that can now be extended to our mobile devices. When you’re on your deathbed, you won’t be saying, “I wish I’d spent more time with my smartphone.”

Put it down.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 26, 2012 10:55 am

    Yes, Leo, a grounded lead-lined room WILL block a cell phone signal. It’s call a Faraday Shield. When going to crypto school in the Navy, the classroom was inside a 12 inch thick steel and concrete vault, both “lead lined” and lined with fine copper screening, all grounded. Really, really, really does work!

  2. Tom permalink
    May 26, 2012 1:42 pm

    Leo: Well put! I also find the blank stare, when texting under the dining or conference table, insulting and annoying. No-one is fooled by the attempt to stealthily multi-task. In fact after all the studies that show the failure rate of multi-taskers, it makes the person attempting it look a little foolish.

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