There is an advertisement running on the television these nights.
As I always mute the television and barely look at the screen during the breaks, I don't know what company has placed the advertisement but the imagery struck me as a great illustration of one of society's big problems.
The scene is a public park [I think]. There is an expanse of open grass with trees around. In the foreground is a park bench with a bloke sitting there. The bloke is staring at the palm of his hand as images flash across it showing presumably sports results, news headlines and Farcebook updates. A mobile phone materialises in his hand an obviously the message is that this phone is the one item that will make the bloke's happiness complete.
My reaction is that if I were sitting on that park bench I would be smelling the grass, admiring the trees and basking in the peace and tranquility of the place. But all this bloke apparently wants to do is read headlines and get sports results? Does the world stop if he doesn't read them? Will his world crash around his ears if he misses what his pals are up to on Twitter?
I have seen this phenomenon so many times in advertisements. They are all screaming about tablet computers "making our lives complete", "keeping us connected", "helping us to live" or giving us the chance to "share" everything. What is this obsession with sharing? Do I give a flying fuck what my friends are up to at this moment? Just as important, do they give a flying fuck what I'm up to? Why this obsession with being "connected" all the time?
I love peace and quiet. I value my privacy. If I want to sit here all day picking my nose and scratching my arse, does the world really need to know? If I want to see a photograph of someone I'll ask them for it. If I want to find out what someone had for breakfast I'll connect to Farcebook at some stage over the coming days or weeks and find out then.
And these people who have this compulsion to share their entire lives with the entire world are the very first to scream about "invasion of privacy". They post a photograph in the public domain and then squeal like stuck pigs if someone else uses it. Serves 'em right, I say.
I see "researchers" are getting in on the mobile phone kick now. Apart from giving you cancer, premature death, squinty eyes and a hernia, mobile phones now give you "text neck". It's a load of bollox of course [the human neck is designed to support the head and is quite flexible provided one isn’t a head-banger] but with a bit of luck a few sheeple who believe every word they read will be suckered into binning their phones.
Maybe they'll discover that there is life outside the Interweb? Maybe they'll rediscover the joys of peace, quiet and tranquility?
I doubt it though.