My obsession with all things tablet and internet continues.
Yesterday, as I gadded gayly about the streets of my ex-monarch-friendly home town (and venue for one of Europe's finest comedy festivals), no less than three device-engrossed amblers nearly ambled the fuck into my face.
Heads down, and connected to the virtual global village, their disregard for all things material within a hundred yards of their stooping forms bordered on Dr Strange at his ethereal and bound-by-Dormammu finest.*
* So, yeah, Marvel — where’s the blockbuster film?
These self-zombified shufflers held phones, not tablets, but the principle is the same: no one looks at anything anymore unless it’s beamed through a window on some (mainly Japanese) hand-held pile of crap.
The worst thing of all about this slave-like navel-of-another gazing is the way that it’s transformed our lack of social interaction on trains and buses.
In the good old days (before Michael Gove), no one talked on trains and buses and everybody knew that everybody else within eyeshot felt equally writhingly difficult and embarrassed in their own idiosyncratic squirmy way.
Now, no one gives a toss. I’m willing to bet that a good 98-100% of people who own a tablet or smart phone could now get on and off a train full of mutilated corpses and not notice a thing.
THAT’S WHY I’M PROUD TO PRESENT MY REVOLUTIONARY NEW KILLER REVOLUTIONARY APP.
If you own a smart phone or tab, you’ll know that these miracles of tech can connect to one another via the sneezyfluvirusosphere and beam information of no use whatsoever back and forth at the speed of a catapult-hurled wasp. No one uses Bluetooth any more because it’s so crap — the walkie talkie you always dreamed of as a kid that turned out not to be a walkie talkie at all — but if you check out your Bluetooth menu now, you’ll see that it possesses a truly dinky redeeming feature. If the names people give to their pets are stupid, the monickers they bestow upon their Nokias and Nexi are even more ludicrous. Yesterday, on the flood-ravaged early morning standing room only heifer cart from Leicester to Brum, I shared a scrum with ‘suzie_K’, ‘Bieberluvva’ and ‘sattan’ — and what I really wanted to do was say HI.
But NOT to the people whose devices were thusly named! I could see them, and they looked like twats.
No, I wanted to speak to their aliases, pseudo-selves and cyberegos in a “virtual close up is exactly the same as virtual a thousand miles away” kind of way. What’s the point of chatting online to a stranger on the other side of the world when you can achieve the same result with someone a couple of feet away? It would save a packet on all that cyberenergy and maybe then all those satellites could be turned into adventure rides.
In my head, I knew I had the bare bones of Chatty Closey Stranger Thingy version 1.00, but something about the overall concept didn’t quite ring true.
Then it dawned on me that maybe — just maybe — some of the people using my brilliant new service might want to meet up with their newfound stranger-dork buddies in real life, just like they do now with people in Peru, LA or Botafogo!
By dint of close proximity and avatarial chance, you discover a whole new bunch of buddies — and it doesn’t cost an arm or a leg or a zillion quid to fly halfway round the world to meet them in the flesh!
Call me a gifted eureka moment spotter, but as this thought winged its way before my mind’s eye like Jenny Jones snowboarding her way to an Olympic medal, I knew right away I’d found the pefect union of brand name and concept for what I’d previously dubbed Chatty Closey Stranger Thingy.
Uh huh — I’m the guy who invented TALKING.