So I am sat having my coffee this morning writing an article on Prague whilst also people watching. I like doing this as the world to me is like one big hysterical zoo full of ever more emotionally and intellectually infantile used-to-be-humans. However this morning it just got too silly. In fact, I’m still having trouble mentally digesting what I witnessed a couple of hours ago.
There I was you see, finishing up my first article for the day and ordering my second coffee when along came a family of British smartphone zombies. There was a father, mother, and two children who I would put at maybe 6 and 9. This being the case, I started wondering what the hell they were doing wandering around in the middle of the rather busy road by the coast. And then I realized.
My favourite cafe you see has free wifi and is apparently the only fast enough free hotspot in the bay where I live, to facilitate playing Pokemon Go. This being the case, the family in question were all wandering off trying to test the hotspots limits. The only problem? As the father dismally shouted out, the only Pokemon nearby were all in the sea!
The father’s protest at this really caught my attention, as he seemed to be genuinely put out by this. “Look Dad!” One of the kids shouted, “there’s are something or other Pokemon just over there but it’s in the water!”
“I know, I know,” the father said clearly starting to formulate some kind of insane plan. And in a few moments, there was the mum, dad, and the two kids wading just of the shore catching imaginary monsters.
Yipee! How exciting! Until that is, in moving to catch his daughter from slipping, dad dropped his phone.
Whoops! Didn’t see that coming.
However, that wasn’t just game over. Instead, dad screamed and for all intensive purposes exploded in such a way at his daughter, that if I had any kind of authority, I would have immediately taken the girl in question into some kind of protective custody.
Apparently, you see, the girl who had slipped is always clumsy, always ruins everything, has no respect for other people’s property, has ruined the entire family holiday, and has no idea how hard mummy and daddy have to work to be able to go on holiday every year and this is all the thanks they get.
No mention, of course, was made of the fact that the family had waded into the water, not from the nearby beach, but fully clothed from the slippery rocks and slipway where a local man launches rented kayaks and paddle boards. Nor for that matter, that dad himself had urged all four of the group to enter the water with their smartphones in the first place.
Sizzling with rage and shock, the family left the water and headed back to my cafe where to my horror, the father then started taking his rage out on the very friendly local proprietor for charging $1.50 for coffee when the nicer place near their hotel apparently only charges $1.
“I bet that’s not the local price though is it?” The father shouted for everyone to hear, seemingly forgetting that he and his family had chosen to come to my cafe purely because of the free wifi.
Anyway. That was it for me. You see, this far from the first instance of mass insanity which I have witnessed during my visits to the used-to-be-human zoo.
Earlier this year I watched a woman walk into the path of a bus holding an Ipad in front of her face, (presumably looking at a map app or something). In like regard, I’ve noticed that a lot of tourists ask me for directions over the summer, however, only a very small number actually follow the directions I give them. - i.e. If the app on their phone tells them that the nearest local shop is miles away on the other side of town by a local building site, they will head there rather than down the road which would get them there in two minutes max.
So, is anybody out there? Are there as yet un-zombified humans who can still do their own shoelaces and who don’t need to have their egos perpetually massaged by social media apps?
If so, and you can walk without the aid of a selfie stick, I want you to know that you are not alone. I see the real life walking dead too. The only question is where do we go from here? Do we start pretending to be like them so that they don’t turn on us in the future? Or do we stage some kind of exodus to a place which is as yet free of the mass hysteria of the used-to-be-human zoo?
Any insights or thoughts would be greatly appreciated. It’s lonely after all, here on planet sanity.