Constant, Unending Attention

Ruminations on smart phones

For anyone interested in living in Korea or is considering dating any girls in Korea, know this: the smart phone situation’s probably worse over here…What follows are some words I wrote while traveling on the subway last night.

One benefit to living in the country is that I don’t have to deal with the idiocy of the city. Sure, there’s plenty of idiocy in the country, but there’s a smaller amount of it thanks to a smaller population. That said, I regularly journey into Seoul to visit the girlfriend and witness the cutting edge of Korean social trends. One such trend is something engulfing the world: Smart phones and how people use them. A few thoughts:

Are you to talking to her or talking to her phone?

I look around the subway, the cafe, the street, and I see everyone carrying their phones in their hands everywhere they go. The phone’s been incorporated into gestures now.

Couples talk to each other and the girl invariably has her right hand wrapped around her iPhone. She checks this and that in between her boyfriend’s syllables and looks up at him from time to time. Sometimes the guy does the same. More often than not, I witness people having conversations that seem entirely driven by what they see on their phones. It’s as if the phone–they depend on the phone to push the Think buttons. I wonder, is he talking to her or talking to her phone. Is she talking to him or the him that’s between rounds? Private Man’s blog featured the post Constant, Unending Attention and lamented how women turn their attention over to their phones, but the problem’s more severe in Korea. Here phones are virtually glued to people’s hands because everyone thinks they’re the President or Warren Buffet.

And, funny enough, I’m writing this on an iPad. Much as dislike aspects of technology, looking at this screen beats seeing people staring anxiously at theirs.

The Private Man

A faithful reader and commenter, DC Phil, was talking to another blogger, Badger, and passed along something interesting and disheartening, especially for younger guys. I’ve alluded to it in the past but after some thought, the idea came together more solidly:

Thoughtful guys can’t compete with the constant and unending attention that younger women demand and now get through technology. These young women have the technology at their immediate disposal to fill every nanosecond with stimulation. Texting, tweeting, Facebooking, phoning, IM chatting. Technology produces a continuous stream of entertainment, education, and social connection. A girl’s every thought and every image can be quickly recorded and instantly transmitted to a network of other girls who are doing the exact same thing by recording and transmitting their own thoughts and images.

I see it in young women every day. Their faces raptly reading or texting (if they’re not actually talking) and…

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One thought on “Constant, Unending Attention

  1. Pingback: Impending phone zombiedom | Errant Buckeye

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