|Pay Phone on the metro platform 2010.|
It became clear that people no longer would stop on the side of the road if you broke down to offer help or a ride to a pay phone and public pay phones were disappearing or broken everywhere. Since I drive an older car, the thought of being stuck was what got me to buy into the Star Trek style flip phone. With this fairly inexpensive toy-phone I enjoyed having a way to contact people when I was meeting them out in the city and felt confidant I could and did get help from AAA when I needed. Over the years Verizon landline division (they are separate companies now) jacked the price of land line service up higher and higher without adding any new features, only over taxing my meager income, while the Verizon wireless offered so many things including constant access to the Internet and everything that comes with it so the big stumbling block was to take the leap to the new device and to have enough money to buy the first phone. This past Christmas when asked what I wanted I decided it was time to be an iPhone 6 user and asked for that as my favored gift of the season. So the culture shift came for me when the new year began...
I sketch on metro rides to and from downtown and at some point in the last 15 years we began to notice people were using these smart cell phones everywhere all the time. Checking out of the boring ride home or downtown they sit with all their attention directed at the hand held device. They made easy targets for sketches as they didn't move much and they didn't look up at what I was doing. That was kind of fun but often the hands moved a lot making illustrating them more challenging. I still prefer a rider with a book or a newspaper or just sleeping.
That opened up eventually and now you can look at Instagram images and posts via those vintage household devices but it's not as immediate as having it all in the palm of your hand. Clearly smart phones also have a camera now which makes sharing experiences instantly very simple, almost de rigueur but from the other side of the metro car it isn't clear what all the excitement is about and how it holds on to the rider's interest so completely.
Children have them too filling time rather than looking around at the world they daydream in other places. This year research has been presented and more is being done on the impact of so much time looking at a screen and the lack of downtime or what we called being bored. It seems that being bored is a valuable time for your brain to be creative! So the researchers suggested turning those ever present devices of entertainment and distraction off once in a while and just daydreaming the old fashioned way to fill time.
Anyway Keith and I joined the 21st century now that the cost is less for more but I am trying to be mindful of how I use the new smart phone. Lots of pictures to share and lots of new applications to learn to use and connect up with others. The world is different with all these connections and some are great others like instant news of a beheading and murderous world unrest and misery less so but it's the new world we live in. I suppose if there is a disaster that I can use text messaging to contact my dear ones. Email worked from my desktop in 2001 when the cell telephones did not; we just have to keep a hard wire connection to some communication device at home now to feel safe.
Now sadly I do less sketching on metro trips but I was brave enough to snap a random person's portrait while riding downtown last week. I adore this lady and her funny hat which was actually about as funny as my own. If I had a sketch book and pen I would have drawn her without a doubt... maybe I still can from the iPhone photograph.
|selfie on the metro platform wearing my funny fur hat and coat.|