To preface the crux of the following article with anything less than a resolve to the title will probably be frustrating to most; the prosaic question lingering on the mind of those who have an exigency on their hands: iPhone or Android?
I will either come off as a Luddite, or some lank dweeb who lambastes everything-either way, I find this fruitless question to be bloody annoying.
The smartphone boom is needlessly indulgent, fundamentally based on a distractive new age and destructive to sweet formality. When a new iPhone is released, desperation takes hold as across the world consumerists slide into concrete pockmarks outside of Apple stores to extend their tongues for a preemptive taste on the marketing runway. I understand that a lot of consumerism defies logic, but the iota of a difference between an iPhone 4 and iPhone 5 is flummoxing. Often, people will justify their overt greed and demand with technological jargon that is both drivel and trivial-in an act to impress their admirers. In reality, an added bonus of a phone that can be answered with the wave of a hand instead of the sensation of touch is purely extraneous and borne out of laziness.
Laziness plays a huge part of this worrying trend. There is now an abject laziness to commit to anything, except through superficial media via smartphones and dangerously self-indulgent outlets which the smartphone plays proxy to. People are now assuming an outward position with an inward role. By this, I mean in social situations. When people gather together for social meals, smartphones will constantly be chirping, somebody who is a little more reticent will use their phone in lieu of real world conversation and overzealous, self-proclaimed 'foodies' (a ridiculous neologism when broken down) will invasively take pictures of anything served on a plate; the internet is bombarded with millions of pictures of Steak Diane and sweet potato fries; unless you're Henry VIII gorging on festoons of culinary wizardry, people will seldom care or be impressed with what you are eating. Through this laziness to actually converse during the meal, we are forgetting how to mutually engage with one another and enlighten our mind through real world experience. People are becoming more aloof and more private, though, paradoxically, they are also attempting to satiate a social aura of satisfaction through social media with their more idealistic and contrived personality. This is not healthy. I'm not being melodramatic or cynical, merely a guarded optimist and realist. The laziness induced and prompted by these phones transcends our faculties, such as healthy escapism.
Healthy escapism is a time to reflect through a conduit and tame the ego. Finding parallels to one's life in the arts is imperative to increase cognizance and understand empathy. Reading, in my opinion, assuages this imperative. Finding an author who can mirror your own thoughts and fears in a palace of linguistic mirrors is a beautiful thing, which smartphones are in no way facilitating-in fact, they appear to be reducing people's attention span. People are looking to poppy grime such as Angry Birds for a few seconds of escape, rather than addressing the inherent complexities that exist in the contemplative side of human nature. They believe that by purchasing these apps and choosing between iPhone or Android, they have a sense of empowerment. The new Samsung galaxy can apparently sense when the user has averted their eyes from a video, automatically pausing it whilst said user is looking away; surely, this feature has been made for paranoid teenagers fixated on dusty pornography.
It is these types of superficialities that are marking the absurdity of distraction our current culture is pining for. What that distraction is exactly is contestable; perhaps the general human conditions that we must all face, but refuse to with an indelible thirst for extras. The averting eyes feature may appeal to many, but will be employed by few-endless users appear to be fervently staring at their screens, smartphones usurping their emotion; all of us portraying Alex DeLarge in the memorable scene from Clockwork Orange where his eyes are pitched claw-like below his brow as he stares at the cinematic scenes lay before him-though he rediscovers his emotion, whereas we're losing ours. With the more apps that are purchased, generations that are desensitized to this type of aloof behavior and refusal to address self-awareness-we will all become vacuous, socially inept drones with only one concern being exercised by our critical faculties: iPhone or Android?
Oh, and just in case you were wondering, buy Android.