Part of the reason I left New York City is because it's not New York City anymore; it's been invaded by a bunch of trend-following people walking around and staring into their phones, joggers stopping in the middle of the street to Instagram sweaty selfies, people yapping into Bluetooth earpieces on line at the deli.
I'm not the only one irritated by these practices, which have obviously spread far beyond NYC. "We've entered the age of digital overwhelm and tech fatigue," says Susan MacTavish Best, the founder of lifestyle brand Living MacTavish. "We're tiring of the constant distraction and intrusion of technology in our relationships and daily lives."
To quantify this, Living MacTavish commissioned pollster organization YouGov to conduct a survey on what the most annoying "common features of the modern digital age" are. Here are the results:
12. Not being able to get a seat in cafes because of people on laptops (19%)
11. People posting 'perfect' holiday and/ or party snaps on social media (23%)
10. Parents boasting about their family on social media (29%)
9. 'Perfect selfies' on Instagram or other social media, where the person is always 'beautiful'/ airbrushed/ smiling etc. (38%)
8. People constantly photographing their food/drinks in restaurants and bars (41%)
7. Social media "mobs" acting as "the moral police" (i.e., in online discussions/ debates about controversial issues) (48%)
5. (Tie) Having to compete for attention with people's phones during meals and/ or other face-to-face conversations (53%)
5. (Tie) Endless requests to "rate" or give feedback on a company or service you've contacted (53%)
4. "Phone Zombies"/"distracted walkers" bumping into you and/ or lampposts or each other on the pavement (55%)
3. People playing music or videos on their phones at full volume on in public places (59%)
1. (Tie) People having loud and endless phone conversations in public places (63%)
1. (Tie) Online ads for something you once clicked on, that then keep following you around (63%)
Methodology: All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 5,029 adults, of which 2,201 were UK adults and 2,822 were US adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 12th - 16th October 2018. The survey was carried out online. The figures for each country have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults and all US adults (aged 18+) respectively.
So what's the solution? "The more digital that the world becomes," says MacTavish Best, "the more people are realizing that all real relationships and business deals happen offline, in an analog world."