As I sat in bed the other night with my ipad in one hand and my phone in the other, having just dropped the ipad on my head and reprimanded L for laughing uncontrollably, it suddenly occurred to me that we’d hardly spoken a word to each other all day.
We often have extended conversations via Twitter, Facebook or text, yet put us in a coffee shop together with the intention of having a face to face conversation, and we both instinctively reach for our phones to tweet to the world that we are sitting in a coffee shop and the day is rainy or sunny or windy or snowy and the barista has just made a pretty picture in the coffee froth!
I’m ever so slightly concerned that the panic I feel when I’ve left my phone at home is an indicator of an addiction. After a short while, I get twitchy and start tapping on any shiny surface that resembles a touch screen. No doubt if I was left without my phone for long enough, I’d resort to conversations that were limited to a maximum of 100 characters or end up speaking in the third person: “Bighair hasn’t seen you for a while and wants to know if you’ve had a good week?” “Bighair is suggesting that you and she go to the pub for a swift pint sometime soon”, “Bighair is going offline”!
How did we ever get by without mobile technology and will my ability to hold a real conversation simply fade away? Will human kind evolve to talk only with their thumbs? Who knows – I must now go and tweet this cartoon.