Digital Miscommunication

Have you ever been on a bus or train and you don’t want anyone to talk to you? You pull out your headphones and plug them in your ears and then turn on your music, flick through your playlists, look at pics or whatever. You are now in your audio fortress of solitude, no one can touch you here. It’s the public transit version of having a hotel do not disturb sign around your neck.

Another example is call display, you don’t want to talk, you just hit the button, and don’t lie, we’ve all done it. Sometimes you’re in a meeting or on the toilet, but most times you just don’t want to be bothered. Again, we think they can’t get to us. In that instance they know it’s going to voicemail if you dismiss the call too quick. You gotta time it right, wait for at least 3 rings or you’re getting a “Hey asshole why aren’t you answering your phone” message.

And just because we can play games on our phones doesn’t mean we should, same with email, planning your next month or writing a novel. Thats what laptops are for but if you are writing a novel make sure you do it in a coffee shop so everyone can see what a pretentious prick you are. Another thing, If I’m at your place or out to dinner with you, do not start itemizing your playlists by decade on your phone. Honestly people will just look at you, then at each other, and slide that finger over in their brain and delete you from the conversation. The worst is you look up from your phone and awkwardly step into the conversation by saying,”What did I miss?” just embarrassing.

The one instance that you shouldn’t be bothered is at work on your computer. But someone says something or walks by and you jump up, “What was that? Did you say something, you talking to me?” Anything to get you away from that monitor of slavery (unless your on facebook), thats why they had to put up walls and plunk workers in those little McOffices. If we were just out in the open we wouldn’t get anything done. They’re not really walls but more like blinders for the ADD-hyper short attention span offspring of Dance Dance Revolution and Lik-M-Aid.

Regardless of all of the technological cocooning we do there are a few powerful entities that trump all. One is the pissed of wife or girlfriend, they will come up and slap those headphones out of your head. The other is crazy people, crazy people do not have any barriers. You could have a bio-hazard suit on, surrounded by by barb wire and holding a flame thrower and the crazy will come up and say “You gotta light?” No getting away from it, maybe we should be a little more like the crazies, start talking a little bit more. Stop hiding behind our phones and start conversations, you ever notice you talk with someone you don’t know and make a connection, it is way more satisfying than finishing 3 levels on Angry Birds. And answer your phone, it may be someone you don’t want to talk to, but maybe this time they have tickets to the game or just won a trip to Vegas and you were the first person they called. Look up from the little screen, there is a big world out there, lets start to interact with it again.

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