So China has found a solution for those eternally on their phone, and the ultimate consequence on the sidewalk: collisions with human beings (and possibly inanimate objects as well)… Apparently, there is some derision here as to the ever increasing disconnection we seem to have, in a time where we are more connected than ever. Though personally, it think people on their phones while on the road is one thing, and I do get it (being guilty myself); the argument goes well when it is applied to those phone addicts that will spend half the time on their phone during a party or a dinner, but that is a different story. I think social interaction on the street and public is already so saturated by commercial ventures, advertising and all that; the step to just being on your phone isn’t that big. I think it also depends on where you are, there are places where greeting strangers on the street is common courtesy while there are places where it is rarely done. I think the fact simply is that we need to admit that we live in a world where the physical reality and the online have merged to an extent that social interaction online is still social, and not some form of disconnection.
City planners are charged with designing cities for residents, from developing spaces for popular activities to balancing the needs of different constituencies. For planners in Chongqing, China, one of those constituencies are people absorbed in their smartphones, who have come into conflict with another group, often called human beings. So the city has done the obvious thing when two groups clash: you build special sidewalks to separate them from each other.
Chongqing City has set up China’s 1st “exclusive sidewalk for mobile phone users ” to avoid possible crashes on Fri pic.twitter.com/jFiCbbE1yk
— People’s Daily,China (@PDChina) September 13, 2014
Whether funny or sad, it’s certainly a statement on where we are as a society. It’s thankfully the first of its kind, but I doubt it is the the last time we will see this urban “innovation.” Today, the smartphone-addict sidewalk is merely a space demarcated with white spray paint for…
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