onsdag 10 september 2014

Mobile flow

Just an observation: A lot of people walk around with their eyes glued to a small hand held screen. Some are even typing on the screen as they walk. Apart from looking weak and vulnerable, with hideous and unhealthy postures, they actually seem immersed in an activity they truly enjoy. If I didn't know better I'd say they are in a state of flow. Are they?

I guess time flies by for these cell phone zombies, I guess they are quite focused too, since they seem oblivious to their surroundings and just barely manage to avoid being run over. Some read e-mails on their way to work, others browse news sites, others chat or read text messages - tasks that an be a bit tedious and boring just sitting by your desk, but somehow become infinitely absorbing when walking purposefully from point A to B. So, boring but important stuff being taken care of on the run in something reminiscent of a state of flow. Sounds beautiful to me, but is it for real? Is it flow or is it just zombieing (just as you can be sucked in by the TV, no matter the quality of what's airing)

What is going on here?

I have to confess I am one of them. About half of the time, however, I straighten my back, put the phone away and just observe the hunchbacks as they scurry along with a blue light illuminating their faces. Those times I feel superior.

Are there any thinkers out there with interesting thoughts about whether this is flow or not, good or bad, productive or not? I know I used to enjoy having read at least the FT news summary and one early broker morning mail before entering the office, but how many actually do something time critical and useful while paying the price of missing the world while looking like a cripple with an addiction?

What do you say, guys? Yes, you, Ludvig, Mike and other philosophers, life hackers, manly men and whatnot?

Should people stop doing it, and why? Should people stop eating and walking too? Why?

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