In today’s society, due to the abundance of technologies currently available, it is extremely rare to go to any social space and not see anyone on their phones, laptops, iPads, iPods etc. This greatly takes away from what a public space should represent and ruins the mood completely. Throughout my research, I found this quote which sums up our topic perfectly: “The success of a particular public space is not solely in the hands of the architect, urban designer or town planner; it relies also on people adopting, using and managing the space – people makes places, more than places make people”.
As such, whilst having lunch with a friend earlier this week, I subtly completely an informal test monitoring how many times she checked her phone for messages and used various applications such as Snapchat and Instagram. After just 1hr, my friend had checked her phone for new messages 16 times, had opened 4 new Snapchats, had posted an Instagram photo and told me she had already gained 43 likes!!! I was completely shocked by the sheer amount of times she picked up her phone and just checked for notifications, whilst chatting with me and eating lunch. When I later told her about my little test, she was also shocked and couldn’t believe how many times she picked up her phone. The below Ellen clip, perfectly sums up this concept:
After watching this video and obviously having a few laughs, I realised that behind the humour is a much bigger issue because we have lost the level of communication people once had before we all became technologically connected. A number of times I have missed something important in a TV show and had to rewind it, due to scrolling through my Instagram or Facebook feed is far too high. It actually concerns me, how difficult it has become to simply not look at my phone for the duration of a movie, lunch outing or work shift.
Both my friends and I, drastically need to change the way we use our technological devices, particularly in social situations. “Some experts say it’s time to take a step back and reassess. They’re reminding people that technology can be turned off and that it’s important to connect with people in person. They worry that kids won’t know what it’s like to share a story or actually look someone in the eyes”. This quote hit me really hard and I do want to start making a more conscious effort to focus my attention on being in the moment and engaging with conversation… I think this is something everyone should aim to do.