Observations from afar…
So I’ve just flown back from 4 weeks in Australia (insert “and boy are my arms tired” joke here).
The “tour” was for a combination of reasons – family, friends and work – and it took me from London to Perth, around many Perth suburbs, to Melbourne, its suburbs and the country town of Castlemaine, back to Perth (more suburbs) and finally, somewhat wearily, back to London.
From the family/friends perspective, I caught up with about 70% of the folks I wanted to see and take coffee with, though there’s never enough time to really ‘catch up’ properly.
People have lives, families, health issues, work, and other assorted things to which they must attend, and often, the planets just don’t align, so, invariably, I don’t get to see everyone I’d like to.
On the business front, it was quite an eye-opener when I discovered that the voice-over industry has really started to change rapidly in Australia. It’s coming into line with the way it currently works for independent voice-overs around the world, which is, voice-overs (and others who work using computers almost exclusively) like me in their home studios, all looking for work, mostly online or through some aspect of social media, and/or waiting for a random email from a new client to drop into their inboxes.
Meanwhile, in the real, more physical world, walking around the city of Perth, I noticed that there were far fewer shoppers and, it seemed, workers on the streets and more and more homeless people, and this got me thinking about a word which most people abhor or, at the very least, avoid using.
The world is becoming more and more isolated, solitary, less engaged.
We all pick up our ‘phones/tablets the moment there’s a lull in, well, anything – conversation, whilst in a queue (even the simple task of ordering coffee) or when meeting a friend for lunch/dinner, waiting for a train and so on – and we’re all checking for messages, emails, tweets, snap chats and the like which have probably been sent by family, friends or are work-related.
We’re monitoring for missed calls or searching the ’net for something – a better price on those shoes we just saw, an address, the latest YouTube clip, a political, climate, stocks and shares or just ‘news’ update – and that got me wondering further…
…just how the heck did we survive before all this technology became available to us on a tiny metal and glass thing a little bigger than a man’s wallet, a little smaller than a woman’s purse?
We – just – did.
“Hello 21st Century – I guess we’d better embrace you!”, along with the new ‘culture of distraction’.
Or, live in an increasingly distant past where people actually talked to one another face to face and didn’t wander into the street or a lamp-post whilst checking to see if insert-favourite-artist/celebrity’s-name-here has posted their latest exploits for all the world to see…