Digitally Elsewhere

Digitally Elsewhere in Hoboken (part of the {dis}connected series)

Continuing our series about being connected – or as many might also say is actually “dis-connected” with reality. See parts one through three here.

digitally elsewhere who cares about anything other than meToday’s new update will talk about why so many people seemingly cannot be in the present – without being what we call “digitally elsewhere.”

I know, I know, smart phone “apps” have infiltrated their way into almost everyone’s life. And you can argue that they are making your life better. To do lists. Photo albums from relatives and friends around the world. Activity monitors. I could go on forever.

But every time I peer over someone’s shoulders to see what they’re doing – 99% of the time it’s one of two things: Social media timeline (fakebook, instagram, etc.) and text messages. Not those life-bettering “apps” people claim they’re using.

The main reason we strive to keep our phone out of our hands most of the time is because we do NOT want to lose that valuable time between places. It allows for pure observation. Environmental awareness. Three-dimensional existence. Appreciation for what surrounds us.

When people are in “constant contact” at all times – something else is suffering.

So what examples do we have today?

How did they survive before constant contact?

A good chunk of people I see “heads down” on their devices are often just standing there.

I ask – what did they do before the advent of this instant messaging? Did they run home as fast as they can so they could contact everyone?

I doubt that.

So why the need to fiddle around non-stop on your phone?

how did they survive before

for what

Updating status – for whom?

Other than telling people close to me that I’m going somewhere – or will be visiting – I never broadcast anything to anyone.

But it seems people nowadays are constantly “updating” their status. “At work.” “Going to sleep.” “Contemplating suicide for attention.” Or whatever it may be.

This girl was either going or coming from a yoga class – and absolutely had to update their status. Or “check in” or whatever the latest stupid iteration of social networking is.

Life is so much easier without!

gym status update hoboken

I can text for miles and miles and miles…

Saw this guy walk from Hudson Street to Park (and beyond) with his head down on the phone.

What was he doing? Watching porn? Playing a video game? Texting about nothing?

In about 3 years he’ll be doing the same – but instead will be confirming his neck doctor appointment.

(In case anyone didn’t pick up on my sub-heading “joke,” I was referring to The Who song entitled “I Can See for Miles…”)

blocks on the phone

They’re all grown up now. Where were you?

child grows up as you were on the phoneThis is another very frequent sighting.

People with kids – completely distracted with their phone.

Whether it’s stroller moms, their nannies, or any other guardian.

I mean the time you spend together with your child is the most precious moment of all.

Not a second should be wasted being “digitally elsewhere.”

Talk to your kids! Explain the world to them. Ask them questions! Have fun with them!

Shame it has to be this way! Before you know it – they’re all grown up! Where were you? You probably won’t remember!

Bingo! He got it right!

I believe this fella is doing it right. Using the phone for a useful purpose.

He wasn’t texting. He was most likely talking to a boss or co-worker about a job he just finished.

That is a viable use for a mobile device.

On the phone after finishing work

Getting worse by the day

In conclusion of part 1 of “digitally elsewhere,” I have to say I thought it had reached the top.

But every time I observe society – it is getting worse by the day.

Young people. Elderly people. Everyone else in-between.

Only a few of us left who haven’t gotten sucked into the matrix.

Do you see it too? Or is it too late?

digitally elsewhere in Hoboken NJ

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Wednesday, March 30, 2016 1:44 pm

Using the pocket communicator for anything other than talking is clearly a bugaboo in your view. I don’t have the same feeling. It is not a valid excuse for being unaware of your surroundings (so it IS in fact your fault if you bump into me on the sidewalk because you were looking at your device and the driver is not responsible for crushing you if you were head down and walked into the oncoming traffic). But why the hate? I prefer these folks over those who walk three abreast and won’t clear a lane, or those who double-double stroller walk on Washington Street, etc. By taking pictures of people standing alone looking at their screens you seem to be advocating for a luddite lifestyle. You may be happy with your philosophy, you may ultimately even be enlightened about this, but I think you ought to let it go with endless proselytizing. You just aren’t going to convert the glowing-screen set.

Reply to  hoboken411
Thursday, March 31, 2016 7:12 am

meh,… the meaning or weight of the word “hate” has been so diluted in the last 10 years that it has the lasting impact of other useless words like “meh” or “ummmm” or “like” . . . I agree with your point about the danger of the “social network” society that so many use these little windows for, that filter out all of the world except the parts you agree with, what I shorthand “the echo chamber”. . .my main gripe with your report is all the photos of people looking at their phones – who knows what they are doing, most may be brainlessly slathering over the most recently pinged Instagram ™ photo of a dog, but some may actually be doing something useful, like dialing their phone so they can “bluetooth” (modern verb) with their 4 year old.

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