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El 11 de abril de 2014. Hola. I was riding my bike last night at around 8.00pm in San Francisco and on my way home at one street I paused to let people pass by and cross the street so they wouldn’t be in my way. One muchacho who crossed the street had his left arm extended out in front of him—similar to the picture over on the right in the video—and he was staring at his hand at his smartphone. I noticed he never looked up as he crossed the street at this intersection. He crossed the second street at the intersection again never looking anywhere and still staring at his hand, at his smartphone. It was dark out in a sort of isolated area where a mugger could have run up on him, stolen his smartphone/gadget and possibly harmed him. But based on his behaviour, that wasn’t at all a concern of his even though we’re in a major city, but he seemed to live under some illusion that he lives in some small hamlet somewhere where crime is not a problem. I read yesterday afternoon that smartphone (what an oxymoron!) robberies accounted for 50% of all robberies in San Francisco last year. As of the beginning of 2014, smartphone robberies now account for 67% of robberies in San Francisco. And it’s as high as 75% in Oakland across the Bay. But apparently this guy I saw—and many people I see just like him on a daily and nightly basis—didn’t feel his life was that important. It was all about his precious smartphone/gadget and what’s on that screen. Because his smartphone is all he looked at.

I had this sense that he and I would be going in the same direction, which we did. He was on one street and I was on the parallel street. Just before I got home, I saw him in the distance on the parallel street and he was there still staring at his smartphone, and again crossing the street without looking anywhere. I got to my apartment and he continued up the sidewalk staring at his smartphone. I thought to myself: Doesn’t his arm tire of having to hold that plastic box up in front of him for that length of time so he can squint at it? Or is he oblivious to arm pain too? Does he sleep with the thing? Some people do, you know. Their gadget is their entire life. It’s their intense addiction.

I told this story (above) to mi amiga/my friend. She said, “well there’s one very good thing about all of this. You and I stand a much better chance of not ever being mugged because we don’t have a gadget (by choice). Today, muggers have an endless array of idiots out there to choose from who are glued to that screen 24/7. You and I are aware of our surroundings at all times contrary to these idiots. These smartphone-addicted idiots are oblivious. It even takes them a few moments for their eyes to re-adjust and focus clearly and to come back to reality after they look up from that damn screen, on the rare occasion they do look up. I’ve noticed that many people leave them on and put them in their pocket. They look like a flashlight at night. Then the gadget addict pulls the gadget out of their pocket 10 seconds later to get another hit and they proceed to do that routine many times to fulfill their addiction (must be hard on pant’s pockets). The screens are quite bright and gadget addict’s usually hold the gadget directly under their chin—while they’re squinting at it—so that the screen shines directly on the gadget addict’s face and shows any prospective mugger what that person looks like. So I think of it this way. This smartphone addiction will keep the muggers away from us because muggers have so many better choices with the oblivious idiots among us.

Smartphones are like a baby’s pacifier and rattler

These smartphones are like a pacifier and rattler. They are today’s toys for (baby)sitting bored, lonely, needy, attention-craving people and occupying their time and attention all waking hours. These pacifier and rattler toys serve as a major distraction for the masses, the herd, the sheeple. These toys are a fad and a status-symbol thing for many people, and of peer pressure (“you have to have one because everyone else does! you don’t want to feel left out and not ‘fit in,’ do you?”). Smartphones/gadgets are very anti-social, and “social media networks” (what an oxymoron that is too and very Orwellian!) are also very anti-social. Talking with people verbally is social. There’s nothing “social” about typing with one’s thumbs. Society has gone backwards. People gave up PCs with nice big screens and big keyboards in order to be on these little toys with tiny screens they have to squint at and keyboards where one has to poke at keys in order to “type” anything. Things that one takes for granted on a PC/DLS connection, one has to buy separately on these toys/smartphones/gadgets.

Maybe when the bubble of The Tech Surveillance-State Industrial Complex crashes there will be some decline in this fad/addiction, no? Chau.—rosa barrio


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I Forgot My Phone

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———— COMMENTS ———— (Manually posted from e-mails)

06.03.14 If someone gave you a smartphone, what would you do?—Tracy
My response: Throw it in the basura/trash where they all belong. Then maybe people can start being social again and talking verbally (you know, with their mouths) as opposed to typing with their thumbs on Orwellian-named “social media networks.” Ugh. I would throw the dumbphone in the recycling bin, but why would the planet want this useless techie stuff coming back for a second life? I wouldn’t sell it because that would just create another dumbphone addict. Mi amigo tells me that we’re losing more and more honeybees. Why? Because of mobile phones and dumbphones. We need honeybees for our food supply. But you know, I suspect the sheeple would choose their dumbphones over food and eating any day. Some people are doing that now. They take more pictures of their food (to upload to some useless site so they can get attention and have someone “Like” it) than they eat of the food they took the pictures of. Idiots. Chau.—rosa barrio

06.03.14 hola, read the comments here. “dumbphone” i like that. very cool. now, i look at what people are doing on their dumbphones. most are playing childish games, scrolling miles of profiles looking for something?, a few are pecking out silly nothings on that tiny keyboard. heard one guy say i think i’ll text him about dinner. his friend standing by him said why don’t you just call him? he said oh yeah, good idea. i thought well doh.
My response: Hola to you too. Mi amigo says he looks at what people are doing on their dumbphone and he says the same thing you wrote. They’re not doing anything that’s important. Just wasting time quenching that addiction like cigarette smokers need a cigarette to quench that tobacco addiction. I was on the metro the other day and some guy was holding and reading a hard-copy book. I couldn’t believe it! I haven’t seen that sight in a long time. Very rare to see someone reading a book these days. He was ignoring all of the dumbphone addicts around him and they didn’t seem to be paying any attention to him either. Too dazed, hunched over and lobotomised looking at their screens in hand. These dumbphones are one of the worst inventions ever and very effective for controlling and distracting the masses/sheeple. Gracias. Chau.—rosa barrio

06.02.14 I watched a video yesterday from London of a really good large youth orchestra playing in the Royal Albert Hall for a concert. Watching them I thought what a different world we would have if all the youth of the world were learning a musical instrument instead of learning and playing with their dumbphone. How does the world benefit from them playing with their dumbphone? All it does it benefit techie companies. Can I give you a couple of links I found? Thanks.
Dumbphone addiction
Screen time releases ‘happy chemicals’ in the brain
My response: Hola y gracias for the links. Yes, learning and playing a musical instrument gives a person a sense of accomplishment and it takes real talent and skills to be a good musician. Learning an instrument would be a far better thing to do even on a hobby level versus spending hours distracted and playing with a toy/dumbphone, which seems to have replaced the television with the sheeple. Mindless “entertainment.” The addiction to these gadgets is a direct correlation to the chemicals being released in the brain. Last night on my bike ride around 10pm in a dark area of San Francisco, I saw this female walking on the sidewalk alone staring at her dumbphone. She was clearly unaware of her surroundings walking among lots of trees because she wasn’t looking around at all; only looking at her dumbphone. She sort of put it down to cross the street but barely. As soon as she got across the street, her dumbphone was back out and shining on her face. Apparently being mugged or even sexually assaulted is no longer a concern of any of these dumbphone addicts. They are some of the absolutely stupidest people around based on their behaviour. They act as if they think they live in a hamlet where there is no crime as opposed to a major city. Loco./Loca. Chau.—rosa barrio

04.12.14 and not a goddamned one of these fools on these “smartphones” seem at all concerned that they’re being spied on. i just read a headline on the uk guardian saying, “Facebook receives nearly 2,000 data requests from UK police.”

04.12.14 I’m also in SF and I see what you wrote about ALL THE TIME even in areas where the news has reported a wave of muggings. What did people do before they got hooked on their smartphones? I’m trying to think. I think people walked around looking at the sights, they looked at the city where they live (they don’t do that now), they looked at other people, traffic and where they’re going. Now they don’t see any of that. I’m a motorist. I’ve had smartphone people walk right into the side of my car without looking. One of them hit so hard he fell over my car hood not watching where he was going. It’s dangerous out there now. All responsibility is on motorists. Pedestrians only see their phones.
My response: Well the important question here is: After he fell over your car hood (I’ve not seen that before but I’m not surprised), was his smartphone alright? That’s the critical question. Gracias for your comment. Chau.—rosa barrio

04.12.14 Thanks for the videos you have there. I was on the Muni Metro a couple weeks ago & heard a woman tell a story to the woman next to her. The car I was in was full and silent because everyone was on their phone except for two people who were talking. One woman said, “I think we’re the only people on this car not on a smartphone.” The woman she was talking to said, “I had to give mine up. Those things are not healthy.” A couple of people started looking up from their phone at her with a disapproving look. She said, “I was having major eye strain problems from trying to see the screen on my smartphone as well as some back problems from being hunched over all the time and looking down all the time at my screen. I got a type of repetitive motion problem. I would be holding my phone with my left hand and my right hand thumb started automatically scrolling. My right hand thumb was making scrolling motions in the air when I had my right hand down by my side and not near my phone. She said she still has the eye problem and gave up her smartphone about 6 weeks ago after the diagnosis from her doctor. She said she thought being without it was going to be so difficult (she admitted she was addicted), and it was hard at the beginning but now she wants nothing to do with it. She said it was absorbing her time and her life and had become her life. She said she regrets ever buying one. She said she was talked into buying one by friends. They are also having health problems now from their phone. Says she feels great now and sooooooooo much better than she did and not dependent on it. The eye problems have been slow to clear up but it’s better. Her vision is still blurred. Still has the “air-scrolling” problem with her right hand. That’s been slower and more problematic to deal with. Says she’s embarrassed by it. She’s been doing a moderate amount of upper body stretching as a type of physical therapy. She was sitting with her left hand over her right hand to try to hide her right hand but I could see that there was a problem there. Her right hand wanted to move. A nerve problem. The funny thing is the more she talked about this, some people began to put their smartphone away (I’m bet only short-term), even people who had looked at her with disapproving look. The others couldn’t care less. They stayed on their smartphone. Nothing will pull them off. Guess they are severe addicts.