After facing rush hour traffic the other night, I decided to grab a slice of pizza therapy at Roccos on Main Street of Culver City. I had a Farmer's Market slice with cheese, tomato sauce, and tons of veggie goodness. Sometimes, all I need is a slice. Back on an even keel, I headed to the parking garage. I was feeling fortified enough to get back in the car.
On the sidewalk outside the parking garage, an obviously lost young couple were looking at their phones and doing everything to figure out where they were and where the restaurant was except they didn't look up or ask directions from two or three other people walking by.
Finally, the woman asked me where the Tender Greens was. I told her down the block and make a left, she'll see it. Meanwhile the guy kept looking at his phone. Finally, he asked if I knew where 999909 Culver Boulevard. I held my hand up in a calming gesture.
Sir, your numbers mean nothing to me. I said.
Then I pointed him in the right direction for Culver Boulevard. You can't miss it. There are a zillion restaurants there.
The young couple walked away. I headed back to my car. As I climbed the stairs of the parking garage, I thought about the modern urban world.
I used to just walk around an area and pick a restaurant that looked good. Or some friends would know a place, and we'd go there. Or I would know a place. Now there are gadgets with maps, reviews, recommendations. Does anyone just walk around a neighborhood anymore?
As I unlocked my car, I realized that I don't want to live a gadget urban life. I want to try a place or a thing just for the sake of trying it. It might be good. It might be bad. So what. If it's bad, don't go back there again. If it's good, go there again.
I do realize that the gadgets are here to stay, and I actually benefit from them (look! I have an amazon author page now). But I don't want to give up standing in a new space and looking around it with amazement and thinking oh wow, I want to try that.
The radical in me thinks these gadgets are a way of numbing and enslaving the populace. We have to work jobs to buy our gadgets which distract us from social issues like stagnant wages and the rise of mega-banks. What if we threw our gadgets away and existed as a nomadic people in a zombie post-apocalypse?
Speaking of unplugging and looking around, one of my facebook friends recently announced that she was taking facebook off her phone. The more plugged in we get the more unplugged I want to be. Now, I'm no real time saint. I have checked my phone during conversations. But I'm all for putting the gadgets away. Maybe I'm just a curmudgeon at heart.
Finally, if you're reading this blog on a gadget while walking down the street, LOOK UP!