Tommy Kapai: Time to escape digital distractions

By Tommy Kapai

Digital detox is what the nouveau-nerds are calling it and the crunch came when I watched a well-known local walk smack bang into a parked car because his focus was on his phone and not where he was walking.Sometimes I get a feeling that my phone rules my life and the person I see walking around looking lost as they stare aimlessly into the palms of their hand could be me, if I don't pull the pin on the cellphone.

Digital detox is what the nouveau-nerds are calling it and the crunch came when I watched a well-known local walk smack bang into a parked car because his focus was on his phone and not where he was walking.

How much information do we want or, for that matter, need from our iphones and are we heading for information overload at the expense of not being able to hold a normal one-on-one kanohe kit e kanohe face-to-face conversation?

It's a question I am asking myself more and more.

Everywhere I see it. Last week at Eden Park, my own brother watched most of the game through his iPhone - downloading snap shots of the game and having the first French try up on Facebook almost before the ref had blown the whistle for following kick off.

It reminded me of the typical tourist who sees everything through the lens of the camera and misses out on the magic of the people and places they have saved up all their lives to see.

If there was something I wish I could have captured at Eden Park it was the multi-coloured footy boots on the field.

What ever happened to plain old black?

While I am at it, surely socks are meant to be played up around your calves - not your ankles.

The French sure can teach us a lesson in style when it comes to what to wear and how we wear it on the footy field. Off the field, they don't seem as obsessed as we are when it comes to pointing our iPhones at each other or ourselves.

Are we really capturing the soul of the scenery we are looking at when we view it through our iPhone?

One day, as I watched God showing off by turning on the autumnal light switch, I almost found myself being my brother and wanting to share the stunning setting with my Facebook friends.

Thankfully, I soaked it all up in a selfish kind of way and carried on down the road to watch the local Te Puna team take their Paroa rivals to task under the guidance of Sir Sevens himself.

How cool that the best in the rugby coaching business, who was rightfully knighted recently, takes time out to step in for our coach who was overseas.

Now that was worth capturing on the palm of my phone hand and sending it viral.

Sir Sevens is about as real as a Sir should be.

Sure, Sir JK is a Kiwi Knight but he should take his own advice when nutting off at half-time and Sir Graeme Henry doesn't mind giving the bloke blowing the whistle a bit of a sermon either.

The other Sir Graham better record his knighthood on his cellphone because he could be returning his to sender quicker than Lulu can sing To Sir With Love.

This week will see another form of Sir called a media circus when the master of cloak and dagger politics will download all the juicy text messages and cellphone calls from the Fairfax flinging Peter Dunne and, once again, Winigate will hit the headlines pre-elections as he did back in the good old wine box days.

What can be seen as a Yes Sir No Sir turn around was the talking point down on Dive Crescent last week when the power of the people in the form of Cargo Shed stallholders showed up at City Hall and gave Creative Tauranga a big serve.

It was a lesson that would have had all other council-funded agencies scrambling for their cellphones and hitting the send button to their chief executives and chairpersons.

Finally we have some spice in the lead up to local and national elections. Sirs and cellphones seem to be the flavour of my last week and now I'm off for a digital detox. No phones, no Facebook and no worries mate.

By the time this goes to print, I will be cell-less in a place where the name Sir means sun, surf and sand - Surfers Paradise.

Tommy Kapai is a Tauranga author and writer.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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