Wasting Time | Roger O’Sullivan

Roger 1

I am a luddite. I have never been on the best of terms with modern technology, and will often do my best to avoid dealings with it. However there are occasions where chance, or fate, or whatever force governs the Universe drags me kicking and screaming into the here and now. The most recent of these instances was when I was forced to get a new phone. My prior mode of telecommunication was a snazzy Nokia from about 9 years ago. It was beautifully minimalistic: no camera, no internet, no games. It could do little more than make calls and send texts, and even occasionally it would not fulfil these duties. Much to my dismay however my trusty phone stopped working about 3 weeks ago, and, as living without a phone today is rather ludicrous, I promptly replaced my fallen comrade.

While I would have been happy with the most basic model available, I rather foolishly decided to take my friend’s advice and buy a very cheap android phone. It has been my downfall. I no long carry around a phone in my pocket, oh no, I carry an everything machine. No longer can I have mystery in my life – I am now kept informed of everything. If it rains, I get an alert about it, if I get an email my phone tells me about 15 times and I pray I don’t get a text because I have to spend about 10 minutes trying to communicate my message by means of a nebulous touch screen. Worst of all – I love it!

However, regardless of the awe I feel at this little piece of the science fiction at my finger tips which has now latched itself onto my life, I can’t help periodically thinking that there is something oddly sinister about it. While the rational part of me sees nothing more than a very advanced phone, the fantastical part of my brain sees some sort of Orwellian future unfolding within the palm of my hand. Is this some form of conspiracy of which I have just been indoctrinated into? Have I been assimilated into the modern world of time wasting? Will I no longer read on the bus, or even listen to music? Will I instead spend copious amounts of time either perfecting my Temple Run technique or trying to guess what word four pictures are trying to convey to me in the rather bluntly named 4 Pics 1 Word. Are all of these distractions in fact designed specifically with the intent of keeping civilisation oblivious to some form of malevolent overlords?

Without fail, just as my outlandish thoughts are nearing their aberrant conclusion, my phone goes off and I am brought hurtling back to reality by a Facebook alert or a text message and the conspiracy continues. One thing is for certain: I have not bought a phone, I have bought a small rectangular device with the uncanny ability to suck time straight out of my life.