I regularly go on trips with other journalists, and like most journalists, I use my iPhone to take pictures, check email and update social media sites while I’m on the road.
iPhones are beautiful tools for keeping the lines of communication open at all times, whether by email, texting, or phone, or on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook.
There have been times, however, when it seems the iPhone seems more way of closing off than of opening up.
On a recent trip to St. Croix, it became so apparent that journalists were more connected to their phones than to the Caribbean or to each other, that they posed for the photo above in a kind of funny-because-it’s-true self-parody.
Walking through hipster havens like Wicker Park or Logan Square, I continually have to freeze on the sidewalk to wait for an iPhone-focused person to look up and see that I really can’t move anywhere until he or she looks where he or she is going so that I can figure out where to go. Much worse, of course, are those who are fixated on their iPhones while blasting along the Ike. And, yes, I have seen along the streets of Oak Park youngers skateboarding and grown people biking, eyes fixed on phones.
I check my iPhone hundreds of times every week, sometimes maybe a hundred times a day, so I’m not casting stones here. But the fixation on iPhones, even at dinner time*, seems perhaps more of a way of removing oneself than of connecting oneself with experience.
*Obligatory food reference