Technology can be a wonderful thing can’t it?
There are journalists of a certain vintage in this very room as I type who can remember the days when photographs used to have to be sent to Dundee by train from Kirkcaldy, and sending copy by phone was a logistical nightmare.
One of my colleagues even told me they were furnished on their first day with a notebook, pen, a 10p piece for the payphone and a laminated bit of paper which said “the phone is your best friend”.
Thankfully those days have long gone, and the advent of mobile phones means that pictures and words can be sent anywhere in mere seconds at the touch of a few buttons.
That mobile way of working has certainly changed our jobs, arguably for the better, but I wonder at which point people’s reliance on these handheld devices started getting in the way of life?
This struck me again the other day when a mate of mine went to a concert and spent most of the time filming the thing, rather than actually enjoying the thing.
It was a real bugbear for me in particular in the latter years at T in the Park, when you would think that someone like Calvin Harris’ light and laser show would be enough of a spectacle without the need for thousands of small blue mobile phone camera lights being held aloft illuminating the audience.
But I’ve noticed it’s getting worse and worse – and it’s probably all social media’s fault.
Putting the legalities of recording live events aside, the aim of folk using mobile phones at gigs and concerts is not even primarily about having a memento of said event.
Thanks to Twitter and Facebook, it’s become more an exercise in vanity than anything else.
It screams: ‘Look at me, look where I am!” And there always seems to be a race to be first to fire these videos online.
Whatever happened to just living in the moment?
There are times when the mass emergence of phones from pockets could just about be justified. For instance, last week’s unceremonial hauling of a doctor off a United Airlines flight in Chicago would probably fall into that bracket.
As for the nine out of 10 other occasions though…..
Put down the phone for once and experience what’s unfolding first hand – rather than experiencing life through a lens.