Smart phones in New York

Pretty soon it'll be like this everywhere, not just New York City, with people walking nominally forward, relying for navigation largely on other senses besides eyes: "As night settled in," says the New York Times editorial writer about watching passers by from a sidewalk restaurant, "I could see the glow of the screens shining upward on the faces of their owners…. Were they Twittering? Following their GPS? Checking their stocks? Reading their email? Texting a friend? Playing Cash Bandicoot? [huh?]…." Writer Verlyn Klinkenborg cites one unnamed source as saying that, by 2011, there will be 5 billion people using these cellphone-cum-computers on the planet. Whoa. A slightly modified scene from The Matrix comes to mind – all these meandering smart-phone users whose real lives are in a other places in addition to where they are on sidewalk. It's like teen social lives today, occurring simultaneously in a whole bunch of places: where they are physically, on the Web, on their cellphone, and maybe in World of Warcraft, Teen Second Life, or Xbox Live.

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