Monday, November 22, 2010

Who needs a relationship? I've got an iPhone.

"Dr., I have a problem. I think my iPhone is cheating on me." And so it goes. I love the iPhone, but so does everybody else. Millions and millions of everybody elses. It makes Tiger Woods' escapades look like kitten-play. "But it's an object", the Dr. responded. "I know", I said, "but I can't live without it." And neither can a lot of the rest of the world. iPhones, Blackberrys, Nokias, Samsungs and whatever smart-phone happens to be the flavour of the moment are not only taking over the world, they're taking over our attention spans. Even in the darkest corners of the globe, and I saw this in Mali, Africa last year - where the computer penetration amongst the populace could be as low as 10%, the cel-phone penetration is normally 90% and even people who don't have much of a proper home have a phone - and boy do they love em'. It's liberation and status and communication and education for the masses, even if your choice of education is the newest 50 Cent video. In Mali at night I would watch 4 men on the street on small wooden seats with a wooden table, all with their heads nodded down, peering into their mobiles - not talking at all, just jamming.

And here in Vietnam it's no different. Walk into any bar on any night, even one with live music and you'll see a fair portion of the audience just poking at their phones.

I was talking with a businesswoman a few weeks ago and she was lamenting that she spends 60+ hours at work every week and then there's the mobile once the office is left behind.
"You know, you just have to turn that thing off every once in a while", I told her. And she looked at me like I was crazy. Meanwhile, people in bars and restaurants don't talk to each other. People in cabs don't look at what's outside. Couples don't even communicate with each other (maybe because they don't want to anyway) - they communicate with others on phones - or usually just check Facebook and Tweet. Smart-phones don't demand, don't complain, don't ask you to do 'honey-dos' on the weekend. You can even kiss em'. Who needs a relationship? I've got an iPhone.

Now, where's that sex app?
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