Tuesday, March 10, 2009

are you ever alone?

one of the more interesting findings from my research study is that for mobile phone users being alone requires a conscious choice. i observed people sitting in a park at lunch time over the period of 5 weeks last summer and most had a book or newspaper in their hands and their mobile phone sitting on the seat next to them. they would read and periodically check in with their electronic lunch-time companion - perhaps for the time, perhaps to pass the time, but mainly to see if that seat beside them had temporarily transformed into a friend via a text message or email. on interview, several readers admitted that they do not feel that they are alone if they have their phone with them since they constantly and virtually accessible to their network of friends and family.

are we losing an important individual value - introspection? do the benefits of feeling always connected take something away? and if so is this a permanent loss or a passing phase? check out a March 7th CBC Radio Spark interview on The End of Solitude where i add my thoughts to this debate, http://www.cbc.ca/spark/2009/03/episode-68-march-4-7-2009/. you can fast forward to about 7:00 minutes into the program for the first part where William Deresiewicz does a lead in and then I speak at about 14:12 minutes for 3 minutes.

so what is it like to be alone now? take a challenge, leave your phone at home for day and go for a walk. let me know what it was like.

u r nevr alone if u have yr phone,