Skip to content

The smartphone is the territory

I recently had to distribute an item I’d ordered in bulk to a few people across the office. The folks had been given a time, my building and cube number. Our cubes aren’t labeled very well, so I’d stuck a piece of paper with big bold words on it in front of my desk (we have glass walls) to assure people they’d come to the right place.

Person after person came, staring into their phones (we have an app for internal maps), stood right in front of the glass wall and the piece of paper… and nothing registered. Most people kept looking into the phone, with a yearning expression on their face, as if they wished the phone tell them more. A few turned around 180 or 360 degrees on their heels (still staring at their screens), trying to orient themselves.

It’s telling of how much of our lives we’ve boxed-in to a few square inches of space.