Thursday 12 May 2011

The Black Box

We were sitting on trains, walking through parks, and laying on beaches. It didn't matter where we were, we just couldn't get enough of it. Each of us obsessively eating into our data allowances as we messaged our friends and read news articles we forgot soon after.

We were in London, or Paris, or a mountain in some far away land. It didn't matter where we lived, because we lived in a box three inches from our faces that we kept glued to our hands.

And moments weren't between two people anymore. You write "I'm in a wonderful restaurant in Berlin with Sally". The world knows. Your school friend Bernard knows you're there. And @screenwriterharry22 has been informed.

You're not in a restaurant, you're in a little box of electrics. You tell a joke to your brother and its so funny that you instantly tell a version to Twitter and tag in Judd Apatow just in case he thinks you're hilarious. But the joke is no longer between you and your brother.

Because nothing is private anymore. Nothing is shared between two people. The world knows.

Never in history have we been so connected yet so isolated. We're closer to strangers across the world than people we're eating dinner with. Except we're hardly close at all. We're just people on opposite sides of the world staring at the little black boxes we keep glued to our hands. And old buildings are forgotten and old friends invited to a Facebook Fan Page. And we sit in a train or coffee house in London or Tokyo or somewhere else in the world, but nobody is there, because they're in their little black boxes doing critically important things. All except one thing: talking to the person on front of them.

Two people and a fireplace. That doesn't happen anymore. The flame is burning out, and I need a phone upgrade.

That was us in 2011.

Care to share?


  1. Well stated. We need to put down the black box from time-to-time and re-introduce ourselves to "non virtual" communication. I've been told it is quite fun.