I am, as far as I know, a fairly typical example of our species. I eat, sleep, drink and nurture a hidden obsession with ABBA just like any other guy. There is however one aspect of my life in which I deviate significantly from your average Homo sapiens: I have yet to acquire a smartphone.
It is not that I don’t see the appeal in having one. To the contrary, I used to be quite fascinated by the potential of connectivity and entertainment a smartphone offers. At one point in life, on a particularly boring train journey to Edinburgh, I was seriously considering acquiring one of those nifty little devices. This was back when the ‘Angry Birds’ fad was at its peak, so I thought I might give the game a go to see whether it could approve general quality of my time.
As it turns out, making a pig stand still long enough on a moving train whilst simultaneously trying to load stubborn, uncooperative tropical birds into my impromptu catapult is much harder than you would expect. Neither did my fellow passengers express the expected levels of unbridled enthusiasm when confronted with what I saw as an opportunity for merriment and bonding. I invited some of them to try out the multiplayer mode, although the few who joined must have misunderstood the basic premise of the game as they quickly started throwing both pigs and birds at yours truly. The whole incident left me with not a few scratches and scars and a conviction that smartphones are the work of Beelzebub himself. As if that wasn’t enough, I was also declared persona non grata on all East Coast trains for all foreseeable and unforeseeable future.
The anachronism of the subsequent lifestyle choice might be emphasized by pointing out that my grandparents, at age 70+, and my little sister, age 11, are all in possession of this satanic technology. I cannot but conclude that I have tumbled and fallen into a deep, dark cave at the bottom of the generation gap, and without a smartphone with GPS it doesn’t look like I’ll be able to find my way out any time soon.