Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Monday, February 22, 2021

With our phones and other mobile devices delivering a virtual context for our attention span, our physical surrounding are increasingly taking a back seat:

Doomsayers have long predicted that technological progress would turn us into shut-ins who rarely venture from our game-playing, IM-ing digital cocoons out into the physical world. But the stereotype of the computer-addicted recluse in the basement has been blown away; smartphones make it possible to turn off the physical world while walking through it.

A recent Pew Research Center study found that “a significant proportion of people who visit public and semipublic spaces are online while in those spaces.” Parks. Libraries. Restaurants. Houses of worship.

And on dates, during family gatherings, etc. We’re there, but we’re not all there. The stigma is quickly wearing away, too: Because everyone lunges for their phone whenever it buzzes or beeps, no one can demand that you disengage in favor of undivided face-to-face time.

So instead of a war-forged walking wounded, you have the always-online “walking wired”. Casualties of waking life, and haunted by digital ghosts.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 02/22/2010 10:48 PM
Category: Internet, Society
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