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Mobile phone usage


willedoo
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I went to the Transport Department this week to pay vehicle registration. About thirty people were there, all with numbered tickets waiting to be served; their ages varying from young ones getting learners permits through to oldies. After sitting there for a while, I realized there were only myself and two others not staring at mobile phones. Most had blank moronic expressions and only differed from wax dummies in that their fingers occasionally performed a pecking ritual on the face of their phones. At one stage, a couple of them came to life and started grinning at their phones while muttering something. One drongo was in la la land staring blissfully at his phone while the queue system repeatedly called his number to be served. So the ratio was roughly 90% of the people there staring at their phones the whole time they were waiting.

 

It seems like a lot of people have forgotten how to be people. With a bit of addictive eye candy at hand, they're losing the ability to just sit and look around and think for themselves. Having internet connection at any time can be a great thing, but those with addictive personalities are running a big risk of turning into robots. Seeing things like this, it's easy to understand why the State Government has increased the mobile phone usage while driving fine to $1,000.

 

Where I do volunteer work most weeks is almost like a men's shed type of environment. On a good day, we will have around thirty members there, and thankfully, come smoko time, most are very sociable. There's only one or two who stare at their phones and don't talk to anybody. But from what I've seen in my area, the addiction is not restricted to the younger generation; huge numbers of boomers and oldies are doing it as well. I think it will have some long term effects on society if the disease keeps growing in numbers.

 

 

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I went to the Transport Department this week to pay vehicle registration

 

 

 

if I were in that situation (I usually do this kind of thing on line) I would be using my phone. I perhaps would be catching up with posts on this forum or perhaps  chatting with my son who lives overseas or seeing what my 91 year dad is posting (and perhaps doing a little bit of editing of his post if necessary) and sometimes I am conducting business. I am not sure whether the expression on my face would look moronic or not.

 

At one stage, a couple of them came to life and started grinning at their phones

 

I saw this recently on a train. A young woman, most likely on her way to work, her phone gave an alert sound and she looked at it a smiled and then typed something.  My assumption is that it may have been a message from a partner or other loved one or a short message from a mate however whatever it was it obviously elicited a pleasurable feeling into a day that probably would be spent doing a mundane job.

 

With most new technologies there comes a moral panic which to be sure has a grain of truth to it but is usually massively exaggerated.  

 

 

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Yes, I can understand why people do it. But the point I was making was that in a room full of thirty people, twenty seven were staring at their phones the whole time they were there. A couple of years ago, I would go there and maybe two or three might be doing it. The rest would be doing old fashioned stuff like talking to each other.

 

 

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I have to admit, on the depressing vehicles London Tube and South Worst trains are, at peak hour, I pull out the phone despite threre being plenty of eye candy and immerse myself in a trivial game that at least distracts me from the horror of and overcrowded sardine can containing some people of dubious hygiene practices. It becomes sort of a mental aesthetic. Sometimes, when I get signal, I will read the FT or The Age... I will occasionally - as evidenced by a lack of typing skills - read and respond to WAU, Rec Flying or Flyer Forums...

 

I look moronic anyway, so I am not too fussed about contemplating that in the reflection of the phone. I would prefer than than some moron wanting to talk to me...

 

If one tried to strike up a converstion in these environments, one would be committed to Broadmoor at her maj's pleasure.

 

 

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Jerry, I remember being in London in the mid 80's before mobile phones were in common use. On the tube, nobody English would talk anyway. They seemed to cringe if anyone tried to speak to them. In the three months I spent there, the only people I saw having conversations on the Tube were Australians, Kiwis, Irish, Canadians, Scots etc.. I wondered if it was just a London thing, rather than specifically an English thing. Having spent no time in the English country areas, I'm not qualified to say.

 

I can relate to what you say about the dubious hygiene practices. One time on the tube going into London, I got on what looked like an empty carriage except there was one lone transvestite on board. The stench was overwhelming, a mixture of male body odour and stale, cheap female perfume. It filled the whole carriage and the bloke must not have bathed for a couple of months. At the next stop, a family got on and couldn't handle it. At the next stop they switched carriages. I should have done the same as the smell was making me a bit crook.

 

 

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Although I am usually happy to chat to a stranger in the right circumstances, when sitting on a train (especially for a longer journey) nothing makes my blood run cold like someone sitting next to me an starting a conversation that I may or may not want to have.   Having said that I have had some great with strangers.  The fact I was initially  was using my phone did not prevent the a conversation starting.   If I really don't want to talk to anyone I more than likely would have earphones in. I guess in the past people entertained themselves differently. ?

 

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I did forget to mention that when in Aus prior to emigrating (so, mid 90's) my train journey was filled with newspaper readers..

 

@willedoo, on the same trains in Aus (Melb), striking up a conversation with a stranger would have yielded a similar result as London - and there were people of dubious hygiene as well.. Or, in the days of the red rattlers, if someone had garlic the night before and it was a hot day... well.. thank god the windows could open.

 

 

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I guess it's a big city thing, and understandably so. I've always been a regional dweller where generally speaking, people are less insulated and more sociable around strangers. In the cities, I would imagine it's a natural defensive thing connected to being among large numbers of unknown people. The less people around, the more people are likely to interact with strangers.

 

 

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I guess it's a big city thing, and understandably so. I've always been a regional dweller where generally speaking, people are less insulated and more sociable around strangers. In the cities, I would imagine it's a natural defensive thing connected to being among large numbers of unknown people. The less people around, the more people are likely to interact with strangers.

 

 

 

As I say I am one of those people who will at times have a conversation with a stranger.  Sometimes though my reluctance to enter into a conversation is is not because I don't like the look of the person or anything like that but having spent many hours at work doing lots of talking I am just all talked out, I just want a rest from giving someone my full attention.    Having said that I do have many enjoyable conversations with strangers but I am careful to try and ascertain whether the stranger wants to enter into conversation.   

 

 

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I'm glad to have my mobile with me in a waiting room, even if I just play Solitaire or Scrabble on it. Have you ever noticed that the magazines in doctors' waiting rooms are all magazines for women, or for something that only high income people would be interested in? Anything remotely male orientated is years out of date. Riding in a train was a good place to read a book, but now you can get books on your mobile, so you don't have to be carting around a book when it is not being used. 

 

What really annoys me is people walking along the footpath with their heads down to their mobiles. I often feel like dropping a shoulder into one of these ignoramuses instead of stepping aside to let them pass. I also feel like hitting them with my vehicle when they step out onto the road without the slightest glance to the side.

 

 

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Back in 1958, just before I got married, my boss a farmer said that someone in Swindon was offering me a job as I needed a job with a house. He suggested I went to London on the train, then tube and on to Swindon from another station.

 

The boss gave me the day off and lent me a raincoat to cover my work clothes. Now I had just finished cleaning out the pig sties, so I needed the raincoat.

 

Through London on the underground in the rush hour was terrific. I had a clear space all around me of at least a metre, while everyone else was cramped shoulder to shoulder.

 

I didn't take that job.

 

 

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I'm glad to have my mobile with me in a waiting room, even if I just play Solitaire or Scrabble on it. Have you ever noticed that the magazines in doctors' waiting rooms are all magazines for women, or for something that only high income people would be interested in?

 

The small medical centre I go to used to have copious quantities of aviation magazines. One of the doctors must have been plane crazy, but now they've retired and new ones have taken over. The new ones are the best doctors I've been to but the magazines are back to the Hollywood gossip type. No more F-4 Phantoms in the waiting room; all Brad Pitt and Co. now.

 

 

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I think the waiting rooms I attend don't even have magazines these days, at least I haven't noticed them prominently displayed.  I am not a germaphobe but I do wonder if those magazines in doctors surgeries are a haven for germs having been coughed and sneezed on. Think I would rather stick to my phone or a my own book.?

 

 

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I think the waiting rooms I attend don't even have magazines these days, at least I haven't noticed them prominently displayed.  I am not a germaphobe but I do wonder if those magazines in doctors surgeries are a haven for germs having been coughed and sneezed on. Think I would rather stick to my phone or a my own book.?

 

Good point. Some say the flu spreads by physical contact, then hand to mouth, more so than being coughed on.

 

 

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Good point. Some say the flu spreads by physical contact, then hand to mouth, more so than being coughed on.

 

How long have people been congregating in doctor's waiting rooms, in crowded trains and buses, busy streets and loaded lifts? Exposure to other people doesn't automatically result in pandemics. As a matter of conjecture, it probably acts to strengthen the individual's disease fighting capabilities.

 

 

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I have never been a great one for starting up conversations, and I don't have the wifi on or internet on my phone turned on. In the doctor's waiting room I read the notices on the wall then stare at my shoes or out the window until called.

 

However, I just spent two days in the hospital - I had over-exerted in the garden and felt the way I did when I collapsed a few years ago, resulting in a pacemaker. My wife insisted I go and get checked out. It all turned out OK. What has this to do with the subject of talking to people? I was put in a room with a chap whom I guess was in his 80's. Started a polite conversation and ended up four hours later when the nurse came in to turn off the lights.  He said he was an ex-Presbyterian minister, and some of the stories he told were a little hard to believe to be honest. He started up again this morning, rehashing some of last nights stories and adding others. At least it filled in the time, as there was stuff all on the free to air TV in the hospital.

 

 

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Starting a conversation to pass the time with a stranger is a great way to broaden your knowledge of a myriad of topics. These conversations get you out of your small clique. Just look at the variety of things you learn from being on Whatsup, as opposed to the more confined Rec Flying. 

 

The essential thing that you must do is to throw out the invitation for the person to talk, then shut your mouth and open your ears. People love to talk about themselves and their lives. You can keep them talking and direct them in a direction your are interested in by simply throwing in the occasional question.  The art of a being good "conversationalist" is to say nothing and keep listening.

 

 

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I must be a nut case . I speak to just about anybody, especially in lifts where I usually involve everyone. Trams and people behind counters who all seem bored. Let a car in a queue and open a door, hold it till all are in. It's so easy really. .  I'm not being a goody goody. I get a bit out of it myself with the responses... I was very shy until I became a chalky long ago. . Nev

 

 

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We are nearly all information junkies, and have been forever. The difference in the Internet Age, is that the information that phone users crave today, is dumbed-down, shallow, self-centred, and short-duration, graphics-filled, information.

 

https://medium.com/alt-ledes/stop-sharing-this-photo-of-antisocial-newspaper-readers-533200ffb40f

 

Who can remember (if they lived or travelled in remote regions), how welcome you were, if you brought along a recent newspaper, to those people you visited in the remote areas (prospectors, stations, even remote rural farms).

 

I can. That, and a loaf of fresh bread made you more than welcome, and established you as a person of thoughtfulness for ones fellow human being.

 

Sadly, I'm not sure that the younger, mobile-phone generation are as thoughtful. They'd probably roll up and ask desperately, if there's any mobile service? - and can they charge their phone?

 

 

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We are nearly all information junkies, and have been forever. The difference in the Internet Age, is that the information that phone users crave today, is dumbed-down, shallow, self-centred, and short-duration, graphics-filled, information.

 

https://medium.com/alt-ledes/stop-sharing-this-photo-of-antisocial-newspaper-readers-533200ffb40f

 

Who can remember (if they lived or travelled in remote regions), how welcome you were, if you brought along a recent newspaper, to those people you visited in the remote areas (prospectors, stations, even remote rural farms).

 

I can. That, and a loaf of fresh bread made you more than welcome, and established you as a person of thoughtfulness for ones fellow human being.

 

Sadly, I'm not sure that the younger, mobile-phone generation are as thoughtful. They'd probably roll up and ask desperately, if there's any mobile service? - and can they charge their phone?

 

 

 

I posted that picture but you will have noticed I did not make any comment about it.   I think it would be silly to look at that picture an believe that you can know what these people think or what they do after they have folded up there newspapers just as it is silly to believe you know what people are reading on their phones. It is also silly to believe that if someone looks up something on their phone then thi is their only form of reading.

 

I understand the point about society sharing one narrative but there is a huge amount to be gained from pursuing knowledge about "our" area of interest, this after all is precisely what we do on the rec flying forum.  When in conversation with other people with other interests I enjoy hearing what the know. I not attracted to the idea of a world where we all share exactly the same knowledge and values.

 

There was a time in history when books were frowned upon.   

 

 

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