Downward looking evolution.

I was getting off an airplane yesterday when I noticed the human race had changed. It has actually been a very rapid evolution. From where we were to this new state in less than 8 years. In 2000 and all the way to 2006 when you got on an airplane more than ½ people on the plane had a flip phone. Fewer than ½ of the people had a smart phone. Fewer still of those were connected to their corporate email system and upon landing sending and receiving mail.

That switched in 2007 and continues to change. Now when the plane lands the cabin lights up at night. All the cellular phones that had slept in people’s bags or pockets suddenly spring to life. Actually that isn’t true. All the cellular devices that were not texting, instagramming and talking were actually showing movies and playing games.

The evolution of communication is that human beings don’t make eye contact anymore. They make person to phone contact. Staring down in their hands as they follow the crowd out of the airplane and to the baggage claim. It is worse by the way the younger you get.

More and more phone zombies appearing. Walking into each other as if the other wasn’t here because you can’t see them on the screen you are attached to. Our necks forever bent slightly to see our screens that perched in our hands lead us. The mournful statue of Ozmandias no long willfully declaring the works of an immortal King. Now the base inscribed with “If it’s ok I am going to flash a picture of my works on your Instagram account. Please tweet and Facebook like your response if its ok.” Not the mighty look upon my works ye mighty and despair. Rather now the great King asks for likes and favorites.

TS Eliot said the world will end not with bang but whimper. Instead TS, I propose that the world won’t with a whimper. Instead it will end with disconnected cellular phone. People suddenly bereft of their crutch looking up to realize that life is passing them by.

Look upon my Instagram ye hunched over cell phone absorbed and despair. clip_image002

Necks bent ever so slightly now forever. So that we can see the palm of our hands. The evolution of the human cellular phone. Where the phone and the person are no longer separated. As if a permanent mental and physical connection is created. “Go for Bob” the hunched over man on the baggage claim shuttle said. Where once your ring tone unique allowed you to hear your phone. Now everyone has that ringtone and even if it isn’t our ring tone we react and reach for our friends instinctually.

“Police report a significant rise in the number of people simply walking into open Man Holes. Holes created in the earth to take us to areas where we drain water from our great cities.” What said news report to be shared. I wonder if anyone would look up long enough to hear it and then realizing they were walking, stop for a second and look down before it would be another number rising people falling into man holes.

Dog, long man’s best friend wanders off to form a Luddite community in the hills of Colorado. No more dogs and people co-existing say’s the dog spokesperson. We are choosing to live the way we’ve always lived free of cellular phones and people hunched over. Do you know how hard it is for dogs walking their owners to have to look up and look down all the time?

clip_image005What will we post on Instagram without cute dog tricks?

I have to go, it’s time to connect to my Facebook account and see if there are any new cute pictures of cats and cute pictures of dogs for my collection.

Plus I have to go on a cell phone led Manhole cover free walk.



Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow