I have more important things to talk about, so I’ll keep this first part short and sweet. As you probably already figured out I’m a freelance improviser, host/MC and moderator. Please check out my homepage to learn more about me and what I can offer you! The entire site is also available in English, just click the little English and Swedish flags to switch language. But wait a minute!
…58, 59, 60, and we’re back! (oh, there will be puns in this blog) And yes, as you might want to point out, this blog post is in fact in English even though it’s posted in the Swedish part of the site! Crazy I know, but I have taken the decision to write all my blog posts in English. Why? Because I work both in Sweden as well as within the international community of impro, meetings and events, and it felt weird to write all my posts here in two languages, especially since the majority of swedes understand English anyway. Now. Let’s get on with the main topic of this post:
Skynet is becoming a reality!!!
The smartphone overlords have taken control of our lives! Everywhere you look people are staring into their phone with the same look of feign importance as cats when they stare out a window… I’m telling you it’s time… It’s time we take that hatchet and chop of our son’s hand so that crazy bastard Negan lets us go!!! Oh… sorry, I’m working with dual screens and watching reruns of The Walking Dead while writing this… where was I… Oh, yes! The distraction of technology.
Now, it was all fun and games when the smartphones brought us a bunch of… new fun and games (ahh, playing snake on Nokia 3310s, we were so young, so innocent), but then came social media and legally contracted us to give them every part of our life, like a really nerdy, young version of the devil with a hoodie and a start-up. And like a starving farmer desperate to save the lives of our children we agreed (even though we have no children -because I choose me-, never even talked to a farmer and are so far away from starving that we can tap the starving people on the shoulder, ah the circle of life).
And from there we sank even further down into abyss of OLED- and retina displays… To where we are today where the real world is constantly put on hold, in favor of thirty different podcasts with thirty something actors having the same ground breaking conversations about life and Netflix as you would have with your friends if you weren’t already listening to strangers talk about it (while you simultaneously go through their comment section for idiots that upset you over how horrible internet manners have become).
In short: let’s put away the f***ing phone when we’re in the company of living breathing people! Ok?!!
Now that angry piece of my mind is basically the gist of it, but let us unfold this statement in a not so bitter voice.
I’m sure that you have friends among you that check their phones endlessly, you might do this yourself and to an extent I do it too. But I have recently taken a decision to stop. And I have started to put away my phone when I meet with my friends and family, so to not split myself between them and a dead device, and instead let my attention rest with the company I’m in.
The feeling of being disconnected didn’t completely disappear when I started to put away my phone. Because a lot of the people around me naturally still had their phone out, their head down and their hand t-rexing away on the screen… That actually paints a pretty funny picture, I should share that on my Instagram and hey! Look at the adorable puppy what?! How could I miss that Fred is doing what he always do and is that a birthday cake shaped as a minion, what will they think of next oh gettaofhere I’m trending with my new haircut BOOM 178 likes 10 hearts and 6 o-faces hmm do I really wanna go to that DJ thing on Saturday I’ll just change it to interested and whaaat is up with Trump and Russia I need to read half this article right now and then maybe the rest tonight instead of sleeping…
Wait, what was I talking about before? Funny t-rex-pictures? Oh, that’s right, how our attention span is deteriorating from too much basking in the glow of our portable cancer device. Cool.
Also, to be frank, it is a bit rude to the people around us when we disappear into our hands. It is, we just got used to it.
I understand that we might need to take an important call from a family member, answer our partner who’s trying to reach us, or something related to our job that cannot wait. But I would say that 95% (or more) of the time we spend “checking” our phone is related to things we could do AT ANY OTHER TIME. It’s just the urgency of the constant current of information that sucks us in to believe that we will be forgotten if we don’t get in the water right now!! Take it from a lifelong land crab (badkruka in Swedish): The water will still be there tomorrow. Yes, social media is water in this metaphor. Because it’s blue. All social media is blue, because blue is the color of… business? Except Instagram. Instagram is black and white, as all classic photography. Oh, and Snapchat. Snapchat is yellow. Yellow like youth…
Ok. To wrap this up I’m going back to the issue of connection. As improvisers we train ourselves to connect to our partners on stage and we try to share this skill with the world by teaching others the value of eye contact, the affirmationawesomeness of “yes and”, and simply seeing each other with all of our senses (not just sight). And we demonstrate on stage that through this connection we can create stories larger than the sum of their parts!
But I have come to realize that I cannot teach, live and truly believe in the power of such a connection ON stage, if I then go OF stage to my friends and family and continuously lock myself in an apple shaped bubble (or letting a small green robot hold me hostage).
So please join me in making a solemn vow to change this behavior, a behavior that only contradicts the true meaning of connection. If it helps your motivation you can imagine that we are brave knights joining together to fight the evil hooded sorcerer who holds the big blue book of life freezing magic…and no, I’m not talking about Elsa (although she does rock a fitting song title for this topic).
I swear, upon what I hold most dear, that I will engage in conversation with my fellow man/woman or however they identify themselves, and that I will put away my phone for the time I spend with them.
Please make your vow in the comment section either here or wherever this post is shared. But please, try not to prove my point: just wait until you have time to yourself. So basically, just do it during your next toilet brake! 🙂
Thanks for stopping by, see you on stage!