Using devices as shields to the world

Yesterday was an interesting day and it got me thinking, why do we feel the need the fill every moment of our day?

Gill from Plot was at Hyper Island UK yesterday and a conversation was sparked about the ‘twitch’ to constantly check our devices in every spare moment of the day.

In London there is an unspoken rule. Do not communicate with strangers on public transport. As a Londoner I feel that this has been ingrained into me, a part of my DNA. I remember doing anything I could to avoid eye contact and started sweating at the thought of someone trying to talk to me on the bus, train or tube. Devices were a great way to escape and my shield from others around me.

I have been living in Manchester for just over a year now and this is not the case up North. I remember sitting on the bus, minding my own business, when the lady sitting next to me starting making small talk about the traffic down the curry mile. I was taken aback by the voice next to me and soon came to the realisation that there was no escape, I had to respond.

Soon I became to realise that the folk up North are a lot friendlier than the Hens (my new Swedish gender neutral term) down South, there are no unspoken rules up here.

Why do I feel the need to fill the silence with a mindless scroll through Twitter and Instagram, checking my messages and emails to see whether I’ve missed anything in the world. Am I using my device as a shield to hide behind, a way to avoid my surroundings at that moment in time?

It would be a shame to watch the world go by through a screen, so my task to myself is to embrace the people and environment I am in. Human behaviour is rich and unique and it would be a shame to miss such a beautiful thing.

Put away your device and open your eyes to the world!

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