It’s Thursday night and I am at 20-person get together. I’ve just run into two girls who I haven’t seen in a few years. After an exchange of pleasantries the scene plays out as follows: I am talking to them. They are texting. Now one of them is talking to me, and they are both still texting. Finally, they are talking to each other…still texting. We are the constantly connected generation, so how that real connection has become something we can only experience in the brief moments between sending and receiving 160 character messages?
Today you are either an iPhoner or a BBMer, based on whether you use the iPhone or Blackberry. Having one of the two is essential for a healthy social life, but also an assured, and sometimes convenient, source of distraction from the moment.
The Blackberry, once the weapon of the serious and business minded, has become the “It” item for socialistas age 12 to 32. The Blackberry Messenger (BBM) service offers unlimited, Instant Message-like texting for the socially hankered. Parties, nightclubs, even movie theatres have become inundated by the yellow smiling faces of BBMers. Jane is feeling a little lonely at her table at Foxtail, so she BBMs Julia something totally random. Chris is feeling uncomfortable standing in a crowded party alone, so he wips out his Curve just in case Tonya responded to a BBM he sent her hours earlier…She didn’t, but that doesn’t stop Chris from nervously scrolling through his contacts a couple times as a busying excuse for his standing alone.
The iPhone is the choice of the creative and tech savvy. The iPhone web browser is far easier to use than that of any other phone, including the Blackberry. In addition the iPhone allows users to take advantage of hundreds of “apps”. iPhoners are willing to forgo the constant contact of BBMs for the companionship of the newest, coolest gadget wizardry. Sam iPhoner is at a party playing Pong, Super Pong, that is, on his iPhone. Suzy iPhoner is at Crown Bar, and while her friends are getting hit on by a couple of guys, she is busy checking the latest post on her Facebook wall. Finally, while on a date, Joe iPhoner is updating his Twitter status: “HELP, somebody! I’m on the worst date ever. This girl is into deep conversation and stuff.”