We got used to what seemed unthinkable
photo 16: Lars is calling
I was sitting at Zurich central station one morning. Espresso time. A cell phone was ringing in front of me. A man reached into his jacket pocket, took out an iPhone, looked at the display and showed it to the woman next to him. "Look, Lars is calling," he was saying without saying anything. Then he accepted the phone call.
A simple scene, nothing special. And so crazy at the same time.
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How quickly human beings can adapt to life circumstances. Wireless communication devices for the pocket and for everyone have only been around for 25 years. We use them today as if they were the most natural thing. As if there had always been communication across all borders. Instead, all humans at all times (except for the last 150 years; the telephone was invented in the 1870s) have had to be at least within sight of each other for any instantaneous verbal interaction. And now, nothing is more commonplace than pulling a device smaller than a scratch pad out of our trouser pocket, touching the device at a specific point and then talking to people from all over the world - and seeing them too.
How would people have looked, what would they have thought if they had been told that 200 years ago? How confused and bewildered they would have been if they had watched the latest presentation of the latest iPhone (Do you remember the first one?) on a rectangular device as flat as a wooden cutting board. We can't imagine. We got used to what seemed unthinkable.
Maybe sometimes it would be better if we didn't get used to everything so quickly.
photo on top: Lars is calling / Zurich, Switzerland / 9 October 2021