Forget Your Phone

This video made the rounds yesterday, tugging at heartstrings and giving us all in the Era Of Communication a bit of a kick in the buttocks. It shows a woman who forgot her phone. The premise is hokey at best, but it still tells us something about ourselves these past few years. Our world is endlessly mediated through lenses and screens. They used to tell us we’d get cancer if we sat too close to the TV. Now we have TVs in our hands at all times. Where is that nagging voice now to tell us when enough is enough?

There’s a reason it’s called Glass: it puts a pane of the clear stuff between us and the world.

Digital detox isn’t enough. We need this new technology to do our jobs and to live our lives. What is necessary is the understanding that looking something up on Google at a cozy little cafe is not as satisfying as figuring out on your own that Tia, from the short-lived TV series Uncle Buck, was in the first episode of the Wonder Years. We don’t need to detox. We need to see the world as a glorious puzzle again.

We can sigh into our beers all day long, complaining things have changed. That rarely, if ever, helps. What we have to do is just sit still for a minute and not click anything, not peck at a screen, and not think about how amazing this would be on Vine. We’re figuring out a brave new world right now. Let’s not make the same mistakes we made in the old one.