Adrian is standing in line at the supermarket. He is looking at his smartphone, a crooked smile on his lips. The lady next to him just dropped a pack of cheese on the floor and is now struggling to pick it up, while balancing the other items she wants to buy in her arms. Adrian does not notice. This is the sort of image we know and usually loathe. Immersed in the virtual world his smartphone offers, the smartphone addict does not pay attention to what happens around him.
Immersed in the virtual world his smartphone offers, the smartphone addict does not pay attention to what happens around him.
He does not join into the deep discussions people appearantly had in trams back in the days before the smartphones. He does not hold doors open for anyone. Over all his involvement in his actual surroundings is reduced in comparison to someone not owning — or not owned by — a smart phone.
When we look a little closer, we notice that our digital citizen, while maybe not overly involved in the goings on around him, is in contact with many communities, his Twitter followers, his What's App groups, his Facebook friends. And he is constantly searching for some shareable aspect of his life.
The search for shareable images or micro stories can even motivate the virtually immersed to look up from his phone in order to help the lady pick up her cheese. Followed directly by a Tweet and a message to all his friends, maybe even a selfie with the famous cheese.
By reflecting what person we want to be online, the person we want our online peers to see,
We may actually become more considerate people who experience all sensual input we receive first and foremost from a social point of view.
What is considered the downfall of face-to-face-communication by some could equally be seen as proof, that humans are social animals after all, constantly longing to be connected to a larger crowd and cuddle up around the fireplace, and be it a virtual one.