I was sitting in a doctors waiting surgery, being a keen observer of human behaviour, I glanced up to see about ten other individuals around me. Eight of us were all on a mobile device of some sort. Two of the people, who were slightly greyer and had a few more interesting lines on their face to mark their maturity, were reading.
Now, I am not talking kindle here, I mean they were holding in their hands a proper book. Yes, one with pages that turned. There’s nothing wrong with that, after all pages don’t make too much sound when you turn them, that was not what was digitally disturbing me.
Anyway as everyone in the waiting area was busy consuming data in one way or another on their mobile devices, probably hanging out with friends on Facebook, one individual in the waiting room decides that he is going to watch a video on his device.
Now what is wrong with watching a video on your mobile phone, you may be wondering?
Nothing, I have nothing against anyone wanting to entertain themselves whilst waiting.
After all it’s best to make use of valuable time and there’s nothing more boring than waiting in a doctors waiting room especially as they often running late.
My problem and the problem for the rest of us waiting was that he was digitally disturbing us.
How did he digitally disturb us?
He was listening to his device without any headphones on therefore the whole surgery was subjected to the sound of his video.
The weird thing was everyone was getting annoyed with him and his digital disturbance. I know this as I was one of them. At varying stages, we would glare at him each time to show our annoyance. (I know so British). The only problem with this was that he never looked up. So he was totally oblivious to the angry stares of the strangers around him. He happily continued enjoying his digital device and digitally disturbing those around him without a care in the world.
It made me wonder how people could lack such consideration of their fellow beings. Did he not think for a moment, if I can hear this, then surely the rest of the room can also hear this?
I would never consider turning on any sound on my phone if there were others around me in a public waiting area. They don’t need to listen to what I am listening to.
This is not the first time that I have been digitally disturbed. It has happened on other occasions.
Another time, I was on a busy underground train.
A man in the carriage took out his mobile phone and turned on a movie. He even turned up his volume as he couldn’t hear it over the sound of the moving train.
He then settled down to start watching and I kept thinking he’s going to get his headphones out any minute now as he reached into his bag.
But no, he takes out some food, after all you don’t watch a movie without a snack do you!
Mobile phones seem to bring out an anti-social aspect in people.
It seems to make them lack concern for those around them. They become absorbed in a device that is entertaining them and makes them lose touch with everyone and everything around them.
Once again the man on the train, was subjected to glares from around the train, but he hardly looked up from his device so he was none the wiser of his faux pas.
No one approached him or asked him to turn it down.
All I could think, and I am sure that the rest of the carriage were thinking the same thing too, was I can’t wait until I reach my stop.
Digital Disturbance is the new phenomena of the digital age.
Mobile devices are making us more anti-social – we are now being digitally disturbed not by our own devices but by mobile devices of the people around us.
Here’s to living your digital life
The Digital Mum spreading the word about the Digital Lifestyle
Because there is another way!
We are all faced by obstacles at some point in our lives, some big and some small.
What do you do when you are faced by obstacles in your life?
Photo by stockimages. Published on 20 February 2015
Stock photo – Image ID: 100311618