What really grinds my gears close

Kevin Danaher
Kevin Danaher
In Grinds My Gears
14th September 2011
What really grinds my gears

I’m recently new to Codegent but I’ve been working in London for a long time and there’s one thing that really grinds my gears lately. Not involving work, or home, or the digital world but rather all three, that being the bit in between, the journey to work.

Now I’m happy to admit that I’m a bit of slave to the digital world myself, I’ll agree that we’re in a new age of digital connectivity and therefore the easy access we have to the internet just about everywhere can greatly enhance our lives. Increasingly we can interact with the world in incredible ways through tiny devices we all carry in our pockets. I’m completely up for that by the way.

Just the other day I was out in London and spotted a lovely view of the Thames, which I snapped and popped onto Facebook, for my friends and family to enjoy, within a few seconds. While looking for a decent lunch in the West End recently I simply typed restaurants into my smart phone and saw every restaurant local to me. This was unheard of until recent years and is extraordinarily useful.

So these devices can enhance our interaction with the real world in a truly profound way, giving us information about the world, letting us record the world, even allowing us to enhance it. One thing I think people forget though is that they do live in the real world. I probably read my email and the news on my smart phone every morning and while sitting on the train this is easy. However, I then put my phone in my pocket and depart the train to walk to the office.

Some people though, have a very difficult time taking their eyes off the tiny screen that populates their vision. I’ve genuinely seen the train doors open and the person standing in front didn’t even move due to their smart phone induced stupor, causing what is popularly known as a Blackberry jam behind them.

People are texting and walking into the road obliviously, or into other people, or walking incredibly slowly down the pavement causing everyone behind them to move at a snail’s pace. I was just trying to get to work, I didn’t expect to be doing the conga through Wandsworth at 9am, I’d have dressed up a bit if only I’d known.

What I’m saying is, okay, great, we have cool smart phones. They can do some great things, brightening our experiences of the world and the way we interact with it. So if you’re wandering down the street browsing the net fair enough, the digital world is a vibrant addictive place. Just don’t do it in a very busy station, or while crossing the road, or piloting a shuttle mission or basically… in front of me. It just really grinds my gears!