Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Annals of DSM: Cell Shocked

photo: MikroLogika

Humanity can roughly be divided into two categories: people talking on their cell phones and people talking to themselves. There are also folders v. crumplers, but that’s another phylum. In the beginning of the cell phone era, it could be disconcerting to see someone talking animatedly on the street. This period of history coincided with the deinstitutionalization of many mental patients so if you didn’t notice  someone had something in the palm of their hand, you might easily mistake them for a psychotic individual hearing things. The fact that many cell phone users now use earbuds and don’t even hold a device has revived this confusion, but the problem has also come full circle. In fact many people who you see talking on their cells are indeed talking to themselves. They’re on them so much, they've begun to live in a solipsistic universe in which their view of so-called reality is mitigated by an electronic medium. You see the same thing going on with the profusion of individuals who're constantly photographing and inventorying  their experience (usually with their iPhones) rather than living it.

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