Bradley Green looks back to a more simpler time, one without imaginary monsters.
Under the ever watchful eyes of the powers that be, where people are continually posting updates on their moods, actions, and whereabouts, how much freedom is there really left in the world? Excessive smartphone users who are permanently hooked up to the nearest wifi, checked in to every pub, restaurant, airport, and even park (yes that’s right, the great outdoors), are the same smartphone users that then go on social media to bemoan the world’s politics and leaders for the unsafe state of turmoil in which we now live. I’d laugh at the irony, but it’s rather worrying.
In these modern times can you ever really feel lost or off the beaten path?
“John Smith just checked in to a Bolivian prison.”
“Rachel Brown just checked in to the Sahara desert.”
6,000 miles from home, and I’m lucky to go three days without my dear old mother checking if I’m okay. Don’t worry mother, if something had happened it would be on YouTube by now. Where has the sense of wonder and spirit of adventure gone? If I took a stroll down Bui Vien, I could guarantee that in nine out of 10 bars or restaurants I ventured into, I’d be faced with tables of travellers sitting on their phones talking to people from home they left a mere few weeks before. That or planning the next leg of their adventure without ever really being all that involved in the current one. Multiple pictures and captions with no real adventure. A country-long conga line of a bar-crawl selfie.
I can write this all rather smugly, as I gave up on smartphones a fair while ago. Back to the no thrills, month-long battery-powered, indestructible, run-of-the-mill Nokia. Sometimes it would be beneficial to have a map, or to find the name of that frontman from the 80s band you can’t remember, but it’s just not all that necessary. I know people will disagree, but I’ve been concerned by the massive use of technology for a long time.
Here in Vietnam, where the shameless amount of selfies being taken in any cafe, at any given time is incredible, it’s non stop, and I’m surprised if they ever put the phone down. What happened to the good old days when people would sit peacefully in a comfortable chair by a window, chatting face-to-face with a friend, or reading a great work of literature. 1984 and Brave New World really were eerily bleak predictions of the world that was to come. Dystopian fiction really is like a blueprint to the modern world. It’s chilling.
This is where I start to cringe uncontrollably, with slight bodily convulsions and bile rising in the back of my throat. That’s right, I’m talking about Pokemon Go. What in the world!?
When I was a kid, I loved Pokemon, but we’re talking about adults, actual grown people playing this game. Not only that, but people are actively running around malls, parks and streets looking for imaginary creatures! Pokemon No. No, no and no.
Please, people, I urge you to put down your device. Look a loved one in the eye, talk to your friend, eat a meal without the need to photograph it, read a book, or just sit in silence, and please, stop chasing imaginary Japanese monsters. There is a big bright world out there that doesn’t need to be looked at through a filter, or written about on social media. Just enjoy it! Rant over, I’ll be in my room, twiddling my thumbs and wearing with a tin foil hat.