Smart Phones : 00s :: Cigarettes : 60s
But even absent an excuse grounded in public health and welfare, it is not unfathomable to imagine a prospective society that finds the tic itself to be as abhorrent and vile as today’s culture does cigarettes. In that putative future, smartphone users would be relegated to special rooms in airports, where passers by would shake their heads disapprovingly at the grey faces lit from below by their tiny, blue screens. The father or mother who pulls a phone from a pocket at dinner would feel knowing shame, followed by the relief of new data. Crotchety former hipsters would gather outside the entryways of public buildings, tapping out tomorrow’s relics of tweets or tumblrs while twentysomethings pass by, oblivious.
—Ian Bogost likens cigarettes in the 60s to smart phones today in a very interesting piece for The Atlantic. I generally skip “ARE WE ADDICTED TO OUR SMART PHONES??!” alarmist pieces, because duhhhhhhhh, but this one is really good to think on. Especially for those of us (ahem) who “don’t get” smoking (why would you do something so expensive/bad for you/disgusting/etc?). Who is doing something expensive/bad for you/disgusting, now? ALL OF US.