Whenever I go out, I limit my use of my devices. After all, I can use my phone or my tablet to my heart’s content while at the privacy of my home, so I don’t see much point in devoting too much time on my devices while I’m out in public.
Instead, I choose to use the time to look around, to appreciate the designs of the world around me, both of nature and of man, and to observe people. I especially enjoy observing people. I would sometimes sit alone in a coffee shop or a restaurant, pick a good vantage point, and just watch people. People are fascinating creatures. What are the complex lives hidden behind the visible superficial? I wonder. Why does that woman slouch with her hands in her pockets, why does that man smack his lips loudly as he smokes his cigarette? Why does the child drum his fingers on his cheek, why does the old lady cover her mouth after drinking her water? Do these people have children? pets? privileges? debts? What are they thinking about right now? celebrating? planning? worrying? grieving?
And I observe, in this middle and upper class society in which I live, that so many people, youth and otherwise alike, spend most of their time on their gadgets. Phone in hand, eyes on screen, flicking the idle minutes away, sometimes with a pair of headphones blaring music into their ears, while sauntering on the sidewalk, seemingly without any mind for a spike or an open manhole that could put them in grave peril faster than they could swipe for the next Instagram update.