Get on the bus. It’s busy. Lots of people in seats. Luckily, half of the bus disgorges at Canning Bridge, providing opportunity for me to get a seat with more legroom. I have to time it right, because often someone else is trying to do the same thing.
So it’s a little like chess. Get in the right position. Wait patiently for others to make their move. Take advantage and slot right in.
I feel like Swiss Tony.
So as I got on the bus I noticed a considerable amount of people doing one of two things. One group – of kids – were busy chatting to each other from their position of social power at the back of the bus. Elevated above the common herd and all that. The other half were engrossed in their mobile telephones, many with headphones.
I am used to seeing complaints about the impact of mobile phones on people, implying it can bring a sense of disociation, and points to a general decline in, well standards of human activity I suppose.
Either way, here’s the way I look at it. Kids at the back, even with their faux sense of superiority lording it over the rest of us at the back of the bus, have opted to engage in conversation. That is, they have made a conscious decision to talk to each other. It would be difficult for them to maintain a single, inclusive conversation for the whole group. So surreptitious glanced at mobile phone might occur, but ultimately all engaged with one another.
Everyone else is reading and/or listening to music. Possibly watching a video. Maybe playing a game. Literature, writing, music, video – these are artistic mediums are they not? If someone is looking through their social media are they not engaged in the same type of selective conversation as those on the back of the bus? And let’s face it, these are mainly school kids. They will be spending the bulk of their day being force fed selective pieces of information and learning at the behest of a clueless society. I think they might want some time to escape from that conformity.
Mobile phones are like red meat. If all you do is eat red meat you will die of scurvy, heart disease or something else (or at least be more prone to illness and ailment). If all you do is spend time on your phone then it will lead to a social and intellectual degradation.
But guess what, that’s not what people are doing. Not the ones I see. It’s not refreshing, because it’s not unusual. I don’t see mobile phones as this social barrier. Rather, it’s an access to all sorts of artistry. I’d rather celebrate that reality.
We just won’t talk about porn.
Or Justin Bieber.
But otherwise, yeah, access to artistry.