By Kim McKenna
For millions of years, mankind has encountered a turmoil of events and periods that have changed the way we live. From the Ice Age to the Stone Age, through wars and conflict, we’ve pretty much experienced it all. But now we are forced to adapt again, for we are rapidly evolving into a world taken over by technology – The Smart Phone Age.
It’s no secret that we all love our phones, but at what point does a simple way of communication become a complete obsession? Technology companies are forever bringing out new and more advanced mobile phones every year, like the Samsung Galaxy which has over 50 versions just in that series!
Last year, The Guardian reported that nearly 1 in 10 children are given their first phone by the age of 5. FIVE. When I was 5, the only phone I had played musical tunes every time you hit a button and could be pulled along the floor on wheels with a rope and still work. Even my parents didn’t own mobiles back then. Now, 17 years later, even my Nana spends hours of her day on her phone or her iPad.
When I watched Charlene deGuzman’s short film ‘I Forgot My Phone’, I wasn’t quite sure what to think. I myself am a bit guilty of getting my phone out when I’m socialising and ‘checking in’ on Facebook; I’ve even put a photo of my dinner on Instagram. I never really thought just how bizarre that actually is until now! The video shows a young girl as she struggles through the day without her mobile phone, surrounded by a constant reminder of just that. Lying in bed with her boyfriend, out for lunch with her mates, at a concert and even witnessing a proposal on the beach – all of these experiences are clouded by the constant texting, internet browsing and picture/video taking on their phones.
The first thing that came to my mind was a film that I watched last week. ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’, directed by and starring actor Ben Stiller, follows the life of a middle-aged man and his struggle to make his elaborate daydreams become a reality. Walter sets off on a journey around the world to track down photographer Sean O’Connell (played by Sean Penn). He finally reaches him in the Himalayas, where Sean has spent days trying to capture a rare photograph of a Snow Leopard. When the snow leopard finally appears, Sean hesitates. Why isn’t he taking the photo? “Sometimes I don’t. If I like a moment, for me, personally, I don’t like the distraction of a camera. I just want to stay in it.”
I wonder if we will ever be able to just ‘enjoy’ a moment again.