I love my iphone, but mostly not for the phone.
I love it because it means that wherever I go, I carry my world with me. I have amusements, music, diversion). So, far from being a device to connect me to people (as a phone should be) it is keeping me away from other people.
It’s not just me. In my late teens, I used to take a long bus journey to college (about 1.5 hours). In that time, I read, but also, over time I got to know the people I was travelling with every day. We would talk, and eventually got to know each other.
In my twenties I traveled by train a lot, and several times, I took my cat (ben, a short hair red tabby) with me. Those where amazing journeys. Ben was a great destroyer of boundaries. He would sleep in his box, on the table, lying across the open door of the cage, or would take note of my fellow passengers and introduce himself, and by association, me, to them.
Recently, I have started using public transport more, and have noticed that this opportunity no longer exists, we are all walled off from each other by our accompanying technology.
What we need is a ‘digital ben’. We need that something that breaks the ice, instead of thickening it.