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Sunday, February 04, 2018

Black Box or Black Hole?

The fine Italian film “Perfetti Sconosciuti” explores the depths of our society’s obsession with the phone. They call it “the black box” of our lives. More like the black hole of our lives, in my opinion. What I resent about the phone culture is that it is taken as a given that everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, must be genetically attached to their phone 24 hours a day. It’s like we’re all wearing the trackers they use when they put a prisoner under house arrest except we do it to ourselves, and we do it happily.

We don’t ask ourselves if we should have this little black box. The only question we have is whether to spring for an iPhone or a Smartphone. Simply not having a phone isn’t even an option. Or is it? Most people will claim that they need it for their work which is completely understandable, yet this doesn’t explain the creepy relationship so many people have with this gadget. Most people kid themselves that their phone is a tool when most of the time it serves as a toy.

Should young children’s completely creepy obsession with phones be worrisome? Is it OK to have your phone babysit a toddler? Do 12 year olds need instant, unsupervised, and constant access to the internet? What will become of a generation unable to sit for more than two minutes without checking their messages?

Is it even possible to live without a Smartphone? Are there rules for phone use in public? Is it possible as a society to take a step backwards to ask these kind of questions about the technology that rules us?Is it too late?

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