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Congratulations to Michelle Murphy for her excellent article regarding people’s over-use of smartphones (Irish Examiner, September 28).
I thoroughly agree with her. The art of pleasant face-to face conversation has been adversely affected by dependence on these devices. Friends who meet for a chat and a ‘cuppa’ tend to receive and reply to calls and texts continuously. An instant response is deemed necessary. While we are usually tolerant of these intrusions, there are further irritations associated with mobile devices. How often are we exposed to explicit details of a stranger’s life in a variety of public places? Some dialogues can be interesting and amusing, some intimate, others extremely vulgar. And one is regarded as a grumpy old technophobic if one rants about the disadvantages of being continuously accessible. Also some older people who are not computer literate feel marginalised and dim-witted as nobody has time to listen to them.
Many individuals prefer to spend their time massaging touch-screens, writing ‘blogs’ or sending texts using abbreviated spellings which may become habitual through constant use.
What can be more pleasant than meeting up with friends? Some may remain more silent, while others are innovative conversationalists. This type of chit-chat with friends, relatives or neighbours is at the heart of existence. Perhaps we should mute our smartphones from time-to-time and enjoy the gift of comradeship.
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