In the beginning it was very innocent. We had our giant Nokia 1611 phones placed on the table when meeting with friends, to show our status. We were living in the front line of cellphone era. Text messages had just become to take place in the world of new communication. I think we, the Finns were the first ones to really start the trend. In 1998 I studied Filmmaking in New York and only one of my 15 classmates had a cell phone, and was texting! Meanwhile all my friends in Finland have done that for few years.
Now it seems that cellphones have become a social problem. Last week I was on the subway from Crown Hights to 57th Street. On my way I studied cell phone behaviour. No matter of class, race, social status or age there were cell phones in almost every hand or pocket. At the same time I hear people wondering why time goes so fast nowadays, that we don't have time for anything anymore. It's not all that. Time is not going fast or slow, it only seems that it's going fast. It's difficult to just be and do nothing, but that is when time stops moving, it becomes still. We need to GIVE time for ourselves.
Life is about human connection. Everything we do, we do to have a connection to other person. Nokia advertised their phones long time ago with a slogan 'Connecting people'. But while we make a connection through device we disconnect ourselves from people around us.
We had a family gathering few weeks ago, and it was lovely to sit around a table and have a real conversation with one another. Older people didn't care about the phones, but younger people continuously took their phone to check out something, and to disconnect themselves from the conversation. So much is going on around us that we don't see, hear or get when our heads are bent down to check out Facebook, E-mails, Twitter, Pinterest or thousands of other applications.
When I arrived to 57th Street I walked down few blocks to see art in MoMa. Nothing in the museum touched me as much as this artwork painted on the sidewalk close to Grand Street in lower Manhattan. It made me realise that I have to stop wasting my time with social media and to look for real life around me. I wonder if I'm able do that!