Saturday, April 14, 2012

Attack of the Text Zombies!!!

You know, I almost look back fondly now at the dawn of the cell phone zombies. When they first started popping up on sidewalks/pavements everywhere, I truly thought the decline of civilization had begun in earnest. Every time another of them would pop up, cell phone glued to the head, walking in random circles and speaking at someone on the other end in a voice at least 30 decibels too high, a little part of me died inside. You could even have argued that the cell phone zombies were actually turning me into a zombie. Each time one of those babbling, demented, pigeon-like apparitions appeared, chipping away at yet another layer of polite society, my soul became just a little more calcified.

What a difference a few years can make. I now look back upon those times with an affectionate smile, awash as they are in tones of sepia and memories of a simpler way of life. An age of innocence, you might say.

Now...now we live in the dreaded age of the text zombie, and this creature is far, far more hideous and destructive than its predecessor. Whereas cell phone zombies had at least some sense of the world in which they existed, with some of them actually and quite aggressively courting the attention of that world, text zombies have none. Text zombies live inside a vacuum. They have no concept of the world beyond their 4.3" AMOLED screen, and they are only able to communicate to others of their kind through small tapping gestures. For them, you don't exist; the world at large does not exist. As they lurch unsteadily along the sidewalk/pavement towards you, heads bowed down, eyes and minds focused on a virtual, vacuous world where words, thoughts and emotions are all reduced to abbreviations and acronyms, you are invisible.

But, as repugnant as they are, do not fear them. And whatever you do, do not - I repeat, do not - step aside for them. To do so would be to actively contribute to the societal breakdown that these messengers of the dead are ushering.

I can tell you from first hand experience that they are more afraid of you than you are of them. So the next time you see one of them appear before you, their graceless, lifeless form trudging directly towards you, do not alter your course. You will find, at the very last minute, right before what seems like imminent impact, the creature will suddenly look up at you with a startled expression, mutter some sort of apology (if you're lucky) and quickly lurch to one side. Just then, just for a brief, passing moment, the text zombie will be made aware of the world outside of their head. It's really something to see.

Try it. It works. And if ever it doesn't...well, I for one - being self-aware and living in the real world - will be braced for impact.

2 comments:

  1. You touched a chord with this one. It is to the point that I start seeing these devices as public security blankets. :) They drive me wild!

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  2. Jeanne, I think you're absolutely right about the security blanket angle. It's as if many of them just don't want to, or find it too much of an effort to participate in "real life", so they opt out. Some days it gets to feeling like I'm living out a scene from "28 Days Later".

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