Christian Long

Renny Gleeson: Antisocial Phone Tricks

In TED Talks on May 28, 2010 at 10:37 pm

Extra credit reflection by SYLVIA A.

Original TED page w/ speaker bio, links, comments, etc:

Renny Gleeson:  Antisocial Phone Tricks

Attention! Attention!

That is something lacking in our society of multitaskers. We are so preoccupied with our own lives that there is no way to give one thing full attention when there are a million other things that need our focus at the same time. This talk shows our social involvement in reality being bombarded by virtual reality.

Gleeson humorously talks about our availability during this new era. With all of our appliances we virtually connected 24/7, 7 days a week. This may be seen as a good thing and bad thing. Always staying socially connected allows you to stay current. Once we lessen our availability we slowly start fading into the background of our own lives because we feel out of the loop and disconnected from a more global community. Once we focus our attention on staying virtually connected we begin to disassociate ourselves with our own reality.

The visuals he showed were striking because of the acts being displayed but also because they are real-life everyday situations. I could walk down the street and see the exact same thing happening. It’s funny how someone can never check their phone normally. It always has to be in an awkward position meant to conceal the fact that you are on your phone. As you see from Gleeson’s talk, these odd ways of trying to pretend we aren’t on the phone when we really are just make us look ridiculous. When i see someone like that i instantly stereotype them into the type of people that are glued to their phones all day. At the same time, its hypocritical because i know i do the exact same thing.

We all do it, but we all look down upon others who do. What does this say about our actions? It means we know we shouldn’t be so involved with our electronics but they have become an addiction. No, not even an addiction; electronics have become necessary for our survival today. Our culture is so advanced in the ways of communication. We use electronics for business, marketing, international communication, socializing with family and friends, and so much more. It’s more the norm to use these convenient means than make an actual trip person to person.

We, as a society, need to take a step back and realize the damage we are causing our relationships and the new perception we have of our two lives:real life versus virtual life.

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