“Walking your phone, are you?” I’d love to ask some of these phone zombies that question when I see them allegedly “walking their dog.” Watching most people “walk their dog” in San Francisco, it’s clear that their dog is a bother to them and that it’s all about their phone. That’s all they’re really concerned about: What’s on that screen? They occasionally glance down at their dog but then their eyes immediately go back to their phone. The dog is tagging along behind the phone zombie with its tail down (a sign of discontent).
(Updated Spring 2019). Hola a todos. In the now-lobotomised City and County of San Francisco, which gives corporate welfare (tax breaks) to millionaire and billionaire-owned tech corporations based here in the Tech Capital, I see most conformist phone zombies walking their phone while their lonely dog tags along behind. That’s an example of “stupid on smart.” It’s as if their dog is considered a bother to them, these phone zombies. Their behaviour indicates that they would just as soon not have a dog. These phone zombies would rather be on their phone entirely without having “the distraction of a dog” and giving their dog much-needed and appreciated attention. It’s stupid to ignore your dog because one’s dog is another member of one’s family. But these phone zombies ignore their dog because their attention is directed at that their phone that they’re severely addicted to and judging by their facial expressions, with this intent look on their face they can’t wait for the next (trivial) message to come in to give them another dopamine hit at which point they can be seen smiling and laughing at that phone which is glued to their hand 24 hours a day. This Harvard article I’m linking to says, “About 73% of people claim to experience this unique flavor of anxiety, which makes sense when you consider that adults in the US spend an average of 2-4 hours per day tapping, typing, and swiping on their devices—that adds up to over 2,600 daily touches.” The “2-4 hours” part is way off from what we see here in San Francisco. 24/7 is more like it, with phone zombies having to wake up multiple times in the middle of the night to check their phone. Insanity. (Related: Dopamine, Smartphones & You: A battle for your time [Source: Harvard University]). Either that, or that phone goes in and out of their pocket repeatedly for a second and they immediately pull it back out because they have to “check it.” I’ve seen phone zombies do that countless times. They can’t be without that phone. Today, we have a sea of stupid phone zombies on their phones. I say “stupid,” in part because if you’ve heard any of these phone zombies talk they sound outright stupid as if our education system in the US has failed miserably. They can’t speak in intelligent complete sentences. They sound tongue-tied, halting, grunting and for them to “talk” (if you can call it that) every other word is the word “like.” (Related: It’s like cool like to like be stupid like in like the US).
These phones are marketed as a “smartphone.” The part they left off was “for stupid people.” But the thing is, stupid is “in.” Smart is not “in,” other than in marketing language where many products are now marketed as “smart” (such as SmartWater). Therefore, one would think that the masses would shun anything called “smart” because, again, smart is not in. Stupid is in. Do people not see the contradiction, the irony here?
But phone zombies walking their phone instead of their dog is one of the biggest complaints I and others have with today’s phone zombies, and it’s at an epidemic level. They can’t put that fucking phone down long enough to even walk their lonely dog. They have to keep staring at that screen, keep checking it. For what? What cannot wait until they give their lonely dog some much-needed attention? The planet is not going to stop spinning on its axis if that phone is not checked every second. Often when walking by one of these phone zombies walking their phone with their dog tagging far along behind, I feel like asking the phone zombie: “Walking your phone, are you?” Although they probably wouldn’t get it or even hear me because they’re so in a trance wrapped up in that phone.
And many of these phone zombies here in San Francisco act as if they’re living in the fictional town called Mayberry. They seem to live under some illusion that San Francisco is a crime-free City or, their phone will protect them from muggers. Don’t count on it, Mr/Ms Stupid. At night, that screen easily lights up the phone zombie’s face so that any potential mugger has a complete view of who he’s interested in mugging or about to mug. And by the time the phone zombie comes out of their phone trance, they won’t know what hit them. Fucking Idiots. Only a complete idiot would walk around in a major city such as San Francisco not paying any attention to their surroundings, and especially late at night in dark secluded areas. Completely obsessed with that phone which is really like an adult pacifier for them. And I’ve not even touched on the phone zombies who have the two other addictions going at the same time in addition to their phone: their coffee, their cigarette and their phone, all going at once.
Here in the Century of Insanity, even though we’ve had many muggings in San Francisco with people having their phones stolen, the phone zombies still don’t seem concerned. They really seem oblivious to anything, but their phone. They don’t seem to possess what’s typically called “common sense.” As I said earlier, they walk at any hour of the night even in dark, isolated areas glued to their phone. An invitation to muggers.
Some years ago, I read that in San Francisco over fifty percent of robberies daily were connected with phones. Sixty-seven percent of robberies in San Francisco included phones. I read that some fool had two phones and his wallet stolen from him near 14th Street and Sánchez in San Francisco. He was texting at around midnight near that intersection. Right after he sent his text message, two guys approached him and robbed him at gunpoint and wanted everything he had on him. He said he was texting to someone about a block away. Why didn’t he just call them? He claimed his text was a business transaction. Or was he really on a sex app texting someone for a sex hookup? Phone zombies walk by my apartment building late at night and I’ll happen to look out the window and see them walking by and I see their gadget screen lit up and they’re texting not even looking around or looking where they’re going or looking behind them. It’s as if most phone zombies live under the illusion that by having their phone in hand that this will protect them from any trouble on the street as if they’re in the safety and comfort of their living room. They’re just as stupid as those phone zombies wearing earbuds and playing music late at night and unable to hear anyone coming up behind them. But stupid is in here in the US.
I also have to assume that the phone zombies fully support the continued raping/gentrification of San Francisco by the predatory Tech Industrial Complex and support the flow of two-story tall, blackened windows tech shuttles pouring into San Francisco in the evening M-F from the techie jobs in Silicon Valley, because the phone zombies’ phones and addiction directly feeds the tech industry. Chau.—el barrio rosa