Wheaton’s Way

Vicki Wheaton

I am in that age group where I’m not old enough to really loathe technology, but not quite young enough that my mobile phone is crammed with selfies. Yes, I use my iPhone a lot, and yes, I would probably offer a robber a kidney rather than lose it, but I also know when it is time to put it away.

In my opinion, a phone should never appear in the cinema and only in a restaurant when one is dining alone.

I was in a popular local restaurant last week, having dinner with a friend, and we looked over to see a couple at another table eating dinner together; yet, by all indications, they were dining solo. Both of them were heads down, texting away, oblivious to each other’s presence.

I’ve seen the same when families dine at a hotel or restaurant. The kids have their tablets, Mum and Dad have their phones, and barely a word is spoken all night.

My mother was a high school teacher for many years, and as much as it could be difficult getting kids’ attention back then, I can’t imagine what it is like now. Teachers are battling against personal mobile devices all day long. Come back, notes passed in class – all is forgiven!

My biggest pet peeve, however, is the phone in the cinema. The worst offenders are those who don’t mute their phones and actually take a call in the middle of the film. But even those who turn them on to check for a message (and maybe reply back) drive me absolutely barmy.

The light from the screen shines out like a beacon and completely distracts any who witness it. It has become such a frequent occurrence that I enter the theatre with my blood already close to the boil, knowing … waiting … for some person to see if a friend has LOL’d in response to a post of theirs, right at a crucial moment in the film. At that point I’ll ask them as politely as I can if they can put their device away.

I rarely get an apology – usually I’m viewed as the person making a mountain out of a molehill. I then sit back down and seethe; not even the sight of Brad Pitt in shorts can cheer me up at that point.

I just turned 50 this year, so perhaps I am finally entering the age bracket of those who think we are better off without technology. Let me make a note of that in my iPhone.

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