A correspondent bemoaned the ubiquity of cell phones and laptops — they seemed cooler, he said, when he was the only one who had one.
But I can offer three reasons why the technically inclined should not feel their elitism to be wounded:
- Now that there are so many smartphones everywhere, street and subway are much quieter overall than they were when all most people had were simple cellphones. That's good for me; it improves my living and working environment.
- People are also increasingly absorbed in their dopamine-stimulators* and therefore less likely to get in my way or otherwise annoy me. They move more slowly and are less likely to notice when I push ahead of them.
- Most people looking at the smartphones are listening to music, watching videos, playing games, or reading texts — all things that are much less intellect-intensive than what I use computers for. So there's still plenty of opportunity for techno-elitism.
*In Wim Wenders' 1991 movie "Until the End of the World", among many trenchant memes, there was a little hand-held machine that people could use to record and then review their dreams. People were shown walking around all day looking into the machine, unable to do much else. It now seems prophetic.