Students: turn off your phones

Edmund Wise is sick of people being glued to their mobile phones


I was at a Frightened Rabbit gig recently and I was really enjoying the music. It soon became evident, however, that many of the people surrounding me were not. It wasn’t that they were crying, it wasn’t that they were being sexually molested, but remarkably they were filming the entirety of the performance.

I then had an epiphany: why not turn off your fucking phone and enjoy the music? I didn’t say it aloud, much to my own fear of being punched by an ironic hipster clad in a tweed jacket, skinny jeans he stole from his baby cousin and a stupid top hat. But it was tempting. The invention of the Smartphone has given us many good things: instant communication… well, let’s face it, that’s pretty much it. But what it has done is entrap people in a bubble that shuns reality.

What would happen to phones in an ideal world…

I am talking about social occasions of course. It’s ignorant, arrogant and narcissistic to be at a party and spend the whole time “snapchatting” your friends pictures of you in a particular situation, with some particular people. Why not just talk to those that surround you, you bunch of tedious, technology-obsessed, sociopathic, hipster bastards?

Why waste time at a party snapchatting?

Why waste time at a party snapchatting?

Another one: I was watching the recent Sherlock episode and realised that instead of actually engaging with the stunning action and dialogue on the screen, people were too busy tweeting things like “OMG Benedict is a babe”. We know that Benedict Cumberbatch is blessed with rather ‘unusual’ rugged good looks and acting skills that make you want to weep into your Soviet-issue pillow (issued by Hiatt Baker), but seriously, get a grip!

Look at this man instead of wasting time on your bloody phones!

Look at this man instead of wasting time on your bloody phones!

The worst case scenario is when you’re chatting to someone you potentially like. Yes, like in that way. Perhaps you’re on a date, nervous as hell, and then right in the middle of that great punch line you’d been thinking over for weeks, she (or HE, MEN ARE JUST AS BAD YOU KNOW! (edited by the Student Union)) takes out her phone and texts somebody. Either I’m really boring, or you are. It’s a 50/50 chance, and frankly, regardless of whether I’m tedious, that, my dear, was really quite rude.

As the late, great Christopher Hitchens once said, “turn off your fucking phone, you have no idea how unimportant your call is to us.” I couldn’t agree more.