Is Singapore a nation of zombies ? Well that is what it seems to be. It suddenly became a nation of zombies once smartphones became affordable.
When iPhone-3 was the only smartphone available and was not yet affordable, there were not many zombies around. But once Android came along and Samsung and cheap Chinese phones started flooding the market in Singapore, the nation suddenly became a zombie.
So, what is a zombie ? A Zombie is a person that walks on the road like a robot without paying any attention to the surroundings. In this case, people walk on roads, looking not at the on-coming traffic, but at the phone in their hands so much so that they don’t know if are about to dash against a wall.
Dashing against a wall is okay. But bumping on another person is not acceptable. Zombies bump on people coming in front of them and then, with a jerk, take a side step and walk ahead, still looking at the phone.
The other day, a zombie tripped and fell down while negotiating a step on the escalator. I dread if he would be looking at his phone while sliding out of the emergency exist of an airplane.
Yet another kind of zombie is seen in restaurants. When the waiter waits for the order, the zombie, seated in a table, is absorbed in a Facebook chat on his smart phone. Then he realizes the presence of another homo-sapien next to him, apologizes for his aversion, quickly asks for the menu card and immediately starts looking at the phone. He keeps looking at the phone even after some eatable is placed in front of him.
Then the routine of the zombie happens. The zombie takes a picture of the food in front of him, updates a status as ‘Having a nice meal in Little India Restaurant’, chats for a while on the phone even as the food gets cold, realizes his mistake, gulps the food in one go without enjoying the process and not knowing whether he ate a rice-pudding or a live rat, takes a picture of the empty plate, posts a comment ‘horrible food at Little India Restaurant’ and leaves the table even as he keeps looking at the phone.
Same is the case in the library. Instead of browsing through the pages of physical books, the zombie browses the pages of the web site that he sees in his smart phone thus defeating the purpose of coming to the library. Probably the Zombie came to the library for browsing from his smartphone, enjoying the aircon.
I see Zombies everywhere in Singapore – in temples, hospitals, dentists’, in a public rest room, on the train and even in a plane. I also see drivers looking at Facebook in their smartphones while negotiating a difficult U-turn.
Friends sitting next to each other in a park, family dining in a restaurant, worshippers in the local church and some even during a funeral ceremony in the neighbourhood are hooked to their smartphones.
People are becomimg zombines while phones are becoming smart.
I only dread the day when a surgeon, with a surgical knife in his right hand, and a smart phone in his left, begins a surgery while I lie terrified on the operating table.