We’re connected to our mobile phones, literally glued to them most of the time. There are times where I’m sat on the bus holding it in my hand wondering why I feel better with it there than in my bag. It isn’t because I know it won’t get stolen there (having had my phone stolen out of my hand I know this isn’t a safe place to keep it) no, with it in my hand I am able to know the second someone has contacted me. Able to respond and feel connected, not just to a lump of plastic and metal but to a real human being. A phone is so much more than the materials it is made up of and the things it can do it is – to many of us – everything.
Oddly, though, considering that these intelligent phones we use are connecting us with more and more of the world and more of the people in it by the second they seem to be reducing our capacity to communicate properly. Or at least redefining what communication means. How many people do you know who would rather ‘speak’ via email or text than on the phone? How many times do you have an awkward conversation with someone over the phone who you can converse wittily with for hours via text? Something is happening to the way we communicate and relate to other people, it’s changing. But what is happening and where is it going?
I was recently linked to this review from Exeunt magazine about Chris Thorpe and Hannah Jane Walker’s new show ‘I wish I was lonely’. The themes are exactly what I’ve been talking about, and it sounds like a really interesting and relevant show.