Picture the scene: it’s 11.30pm on New Year’s Eve. The family are at home, laughing and joking, having feasted on hams, having drunk all the wine, all the cider. Or perhaps you prefer the view down at the pub, old school-friends back for the festive season, gathered around a table or two to catch up and get a few rounds in. Nice, isn’t it?
Ten years ago, this was fine. Ten years ago, this was fun, this was what festive gatherings, family gatherings, any gatherings were all about: people, together, sharing each other’s company.
This was before the invention of the fucking smart phone.
At 11.30pm on New Year’s Eve I sat in a room with family looking at Youtube clips on their ipads. In the pub, people were staring at updates on their Blackberries or taking pictures of themselves and posting them on Facebook.
I know this sounds like an old-man whinge; and really, it is. But we have an iphone at home, and it’s shit. It’s just Facebook in your pocket. It’s the office everywhere you go. It’s a chain around your neck. Be under no illusion: you are your phone’s bitch.
I think our generation had it so much better. We got to enjoy ourselves without the constant need for reinforcement, without having to show someone else so that they could like it. We got to watch bands, and not just film them. We had time to think, to be alone. These days, everyone is their own Big Brother.
I just bought a new phone. It’s a Nokia 100. It’s hot pink, and has a torch. A full battery lasts two weeks. The kids at school asked me why I don’t want a ‘proper’ phone. I wish I could explain.