Communication

I went to my favourite cafe in town the other day. I like going there, the staff are very friendly, they have delicious icecream and hot chocolate, and although the cafe is very centrally located on Teramachi, it is surprisingly quiet. So, I don’t feel bad if I stay there for a couple of hours and write, sipping on a hot chocolate or the free water that is provided. I avoid going there in the weekends though, they are very busy then and I don’t want to take up space without bringing them good business – after all, I prefer them to remain open…

cartoon "generation web 2.0" by Peter WellemanAnyway, when I’m not totallly absorbed in my writing, I like to watch the other customers. It’s mostly a young crowd, often groups of girls, but also couples, all of them hip and well styled and equipped with the latest in fashion and gadgetry. What I noticed is that often, the girls – and sometimes even the couples – while sitting next to each other, don’t talk to each other but stare into their smartphones instead. Sometimes they laugh and then show each other what’s going on on their screen, but mainly it is a solitary activity.

Honestly, if I went out to see a friend, staring at my mobile phone would be the last thing I would want to do. If we were to meet someplace and he whipped out his phone and tuned out, I’d be deadly offended and would probably leave. Of course, I don’t even have a mobile phone, so that’s easy for me to say, but it can’t just be me who is finding this type of behaviour at least somewhat irritating. Or am I simply getting old?

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