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When Exactly Did We Start Looking Down?
By: Greg Miller
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I can’t exactly pin point the moment, but there’s no denying that it happened and is continuing to happen. If I had to guess, I’d say that it started with the BlackBerry. We stopped looking up at the world around us and started looking down at what’s in our hands.

But now it’s not just the BlackBerry. It’s the iPhone that we look down at as we play Angry Birds or some other game. It’s the Android device that we’re looking at to check our Gmail. It’s the Kindle, Nook, or some other ebook reader that we engage with, or the iPad that we use to check out a video clip or even watch a full movie with via Netflix.

As someone who commutes into NYC every day, this trend is mesmerizing. I see it on the train, on the subway, during lunch, and yes, even while walking the streets of NY. So many people looking down, so few looking up. And it’s not a trend that’s going to stop anytime soon. We’ve had to put laws in place so that drivers don’t kill themselves or each other because they weren’t looking up. I’ve witnessed people almost walk into oncoming traffic because they weren’t looking up. What does it mean?

I often hear people differentiate between the real world and the online world as if we’re talking about the difference between Bill Cosby and Cliff Huxtable. In that example, one is real and the other is a character in a sitcom. But with such a vast majority looking down, and more joining the ranks, at what point does the online world become the real? Because we’re not socializing face-to-face but via a social network, does that actually make us less social? Isn’t Twitter based on the art of small talk, hence the 140 character limit?

Does it at some point become wrong to tweet or text the person sitting right next to you? I’ve been in office settings where one person would call the other on the phone and they were sitting two cubicles down.

So what’s my point? My point is this. Smart phones will keep getting smarter. Tablets are going to become more prevalent then the traditional PC. Mobile IS the future. And social networking is becoming the standard of how we interact. So isn’t it time we start accepting the online world as the real world? And if not, when will that crossover occur? Because even though we’re all looking down, the irony is that we’re still looking at someone else.

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About the Author
Greg Miller is an IT Support Pro, digital evolutionist, NBA fanatic, and the founder\editor of LifeAppolution where you can learn to get more from life one app at a time. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @LifeAppolution.
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