Conversation Stopper


Autumn is here – my favourite time of year!  Scrunchy leaves. Clear, crisp skies. Seeing your breath. Warm coats and scarves. Squirrels manically burying seeds. Irresistibly shiny conkers that you just have to pocket. Log fires and a palette of golds, reds, browns and oranges that make you want to paint or write poetry!  This is not however, the topic of my cartoon.

Last week I was chatting to L about the day’s events on my walk home from work, when along the path bounced the most adorable puppy.  Anyone who knows me, will know that I’m a sucker for anything cute and fluffy.  I’ve been known to fight my way through a crowd to stroke some unsuspecting mutt, whilst L marches ahead with embarrassment muttering “She’s not with me. She’s not with me”.   Just the sight of a ball of fluff will more than likely cause me to let out an uncontrollable squeal of joy followed by a gush of unintelligible coos and babbles as I stroke and hug said creature to death.   I’ve even been known to shout ‘hello’ to cows and wave to cats…Yes, I would agree, these are not the actions of a sane person.

So, when I spied the puppy running down the path, without a moment’s thought or warning, I hung up mid-conversation. Just like that.  It wasn’t until after I’d had my fill of puppy cuddles that I realised what I’d done.    Understandably, L was a little bemused by the sudden disconnection – was the network down? did I drop my phone? had I been attacked by a mad axeman?  When I finally rang back to explain what had happened, she was not in the least bit surprised, for nothing can come between me and a puppy!


Relationships in a mobile age

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.