Last fall, after years of raids on social networks, I closed my social accounts. I logged out of Facebook, I removed the Twitter app from my smartphone. I had at an average of 5 tweets per day for about 4 years. Luckily I suddenly stopped, and I’m happy with what I have done.
Reason number one for which I have shut down all my social accounts: social network had consumed my life.
I followed the boom of smartphones and without realizing it, I shared everything on the various social networks I am on.
And when you share everything at some point there will be a semi-stranger who writes:
“Hey, I wrote you on Facebook , I saw that you’re always online. Why after three days you have not answered me yet?”
Probably the straw that broke the camel’s back. I realized that I had done something wrong when using these social networks. I was drunk and addicted to sharing, with the potential of getting likes, tweets and notifications on my profiles. I was totally addicted .
Go offline and you’ll be happy, I said to myself. And so I did.
Probably if I had not been to Singapore, the message from the stranger would have slipped away. I would be limited to a wink and diplomatically would have shared another tweet or another photo. Useless, but always good to pull in some likes in the social network world.
Reason number two. Singapore A city of robots. I had heard about the city: clean, safe, perfect, futuristic and awesome. Ok. Let’s put aside the city, the skyscrapers and the shopping malls . Let’s talk about the people.
Let’s talk about the people of Singapore and about smartphones. There is not much difference. In Singapore I have seen the future and I shuddered.
Just take a ride on the public metro and you will understand how smartphones have ruined people. I’ve seen people walk down the street holding a tablet with two hands, without looking where he walked; what was most important to him was not to miss the latest episode of The Voice. It did not matter if you have to crashed into someone else, the important thing was to never remove the gaze from your rectangular friend, preferably a 10 inches digital tablet.
I’ve seen people scroll pages of the smartphone for endless minutes, without doing anything, or without launching any applications.
Simply go back and forth with your thumb and staring on the screen of the phone. Back and forth, without doing anything.
I’ve seen people playing Candy Crush in every corner of the city, at any given time: in the queue lines at McDonald’s, on escalators, walking in the subway. Saying “ Hi” to his friend, looking down, three bubbles exploded, pull out your eyes and say “ How are you”, look down and explode yet another three more bubbles.
In Singapore you do not do anything without interacting with your smartphone. I saw scenes on trains where there were thirty people and the only ones who were not using a smartphone were me and my girlfriend. Everyone else was looking down at the smartphone, in deafening silence. The people in Singapore do not use the phone to make phone calls: I have not seen anyone calling. I’ve only seen people using their phones to log onto their Facebook or play some stupid games.
Five days in Singapore and we only saw one person reading a real book. I still have doubts whether that it was an hallucination.
“I may be wrong, but the Italian trains are much better where people scream at the phone speaking with their mum about the next delicious pasta. At least we communicate, we are real, we interact.”
So “thank you Singapore” for giving me the knowledge that smartphones and tablets are ruining us, we do not talk anymore.
I have seen the future and I know now that life is better in the past.