Clicking away

For a long time, I've been interested in observing people using electronic gadgets when I travel on a train. To say that I have noticed that more and more people are doing that in recent years is like stating the obvious, but it is true. Out of a row of six people on an evening train (for obvious reasons, there are more evening commuters using electronic gadgets than the morning ones), there can be five or six who occupy or entertain themselves by listening to their iPods, watching a movie or a TV series on their iPhones, gaming on their consoles or gossiping on their mobiles.

Why are these gadgets so popular? Why don't the people just have a rest after a long wretched day at school or at the office? Apart from the pervasiveness of the gadgets and their content, one important reason is that modern people are so unused to or even afraid of quiet times. Left to themselves, they will feel lonely and lost. So taking out the gadget and burying oneself in it once boarding a train is no different from switching on the TV once arriving home. It's a way to banish the uncomfortable feeling of emptiness when left alone.

No wonder these products have such a huge market.

No comments: