When the weekend comes, it seems that a lot of people are rushing to towns and cities. As if, there is a magnetic field in the city centre or a shortage of some goods.
Car parks are packed to the rafters. Most motorists are in fact driving to town to not be at home. There is no real explanation about this attitude. A sort of “follow the flow” behaviour or do what the others do and everyone will be fine.
It must be clarified that there is nothing special happening on weekends in stores: same items and prices that during the week. Nevertheless, individuals are queueing:
- to find a car space,
- to order and pay for a drink,
- to get a table for a few minutes at fast-food type restaurant.
As you can see nothing related to a glamorous situation.
There is also this attraction for THAT new smartphone or tablet, which will do exactly the same as the present device but an “new” button might give that extra option to turn the display on or off faster. Nothing actually revolutionary, but maybe seen in a magazine in the hands of a celebrity. So, it is then a must have product.
All this is rather worrying and almost disturbing that a lot of people can’t live away from their mobile phones or other connected gadget. Are we becoming more and more superficial?
Of course, buying is part of the natural process. Retailers need to have what consumers want or it can have a bad impact on the economy.
A few years back families would leave their home for a day or afternoon in order to embrace the countryside and nature: trekking and walking was THE activity and everyone was happy too.
In the 21st Century there is a slight issue: there might not be any network coverage and therefore impossible to update the personal social media status or share an instagram. This is nearly the e-drug of our modern Society. Is it that difficult to forget the virtual world to actually share things with real friends?!
Just look around you. At bus stops/shelters people going to school or to work are all staring at their touchscreen phones with eventually headphones screaming decibels into their ears. Not very sociable!
The paradox is that communication tools are at our fingertips but we are struggling to talk to our neighbours when face-to-face or next to each other. Confusing, isn’t it?!
Has our Society and ourselves lost something natural and essential? Did all these corporations and manufacturers produce such wonderful marketing campaigns that We have been brainwashed without being aware of it? In other words, are We like zombies addicted to our pocket sized computers, not caring about what is occurring around us and completely sucked into Apps and other selfie trend!?
It is certain that the World is changing and technology has helped us and retailers too. But…should We re-assess our daily tasks, meet-up without any mobile phones/laptops in order to re-connect and
enjoy the company of our colleagues, friends and families? It is not about disregarding what is making our lives easier, but simply learning again to appreciate a book (without a Kindle), a person (without fiddling with an incoming text message), a place (without being disturbed by a ringtone). Remember the years where a luxury looking metal box and a couple of stickers made a child happy. Batteries or updates were not required: everyone was happy to have given and received something which brought a smile.
There are already dedicated “quiet coaches” on certain trains. Unfortunately, there is always one passenger making a call or completely ignoring the little reminder by the window, which can disturb other travellers either working, completing sudoku/crosswords grids or reading newspapers.
Throughout the year, there are special days such as “No cigarette day”, “Earth day”. Maybe soon a “No digital device day”?
It would be welcome by some and rejected by others, but it could be a start to make a point that We can also live without it for 24 hours.
It is almost certain that at some point in the near future a group of individuals will have a campaign to leave our devices switched off for a day and give a rest to technology. It is not about going backwards as it is obvious that consulting cinema times, various timetables or shops opening hours can be found online and it can help organize our weekly schedule.
There is without a doubt a benefit to have access to information rapidly. Online connectivity must be seen as a tool which is available to be used and not abused. Users shouldn’t spend that much time with their eyes on a screen – whatever the size or quality of it. In recent news, traditional and already advanced watches could disappear to be replaced by….smartwatches! Is this all necessary or not too excessive?