Is it only Americans that always have their eyes glued to their phones' screens?

Look around any public setting in the USA-- malls, restaurants, college campuses-- and everyone seems to be staring at their phones. And it’s not only when they’re sitting still. I see people walking their dogs while looking at their phones, and I’ve even seen bicycle riders texting with one hand while riding. :eek: At the community college I attend most teachers have given up on telling kids to put away their phones during class. Families sit around a table in a restaurant and each person is on his/her phone. I’m surmising that’s also what they do at home.

Is it this way all over the world? For y’all who live or regularly travel outside the USA, what do you see WRT to cell phone use? Not so much talking on the phone, because after all, it is a phone, but texting, twitter, youtube, i.e., basically interacting with something on the phone instead of with the physical world and/or other people around them.

I’ve never really been anywhere, certainly not since cell phones became the norm, but I’m gonna hazard a guess: hell no. Especially since the U.S. isn’t even the leader in tech anymore (if we ever were). For a scary illustration, I recommend you watch Netflix’s Black Mirror.

Seems to be very common in Australia. Everywhere you look people have their nose glued to their phone and/or have headphones plugged into it.

I’m genuinely surprised more pedestrians haven’t been killed by just walking in front of cars

I did a thread not long ago about a family with both parents ignoring their son while they spent the entire time on their cell phones. It happens here in Taiwan and in Japan.

It’s a plague here in Panama too. When we go out to dinner, I have to tell some of my friends to put down their phones.

I think it’s wonderful. Nobody notices when I take their wallets and car keys.

Generally speaking, the answer to any question that begins “Is it only Americans . . .” is no. Which always seems to surprise Americans.

It’s appalling to me, and not because I’m a cranky geezer. How anyone can tune out the world around them is just bizarre. I’m really surprised that there aren’t more stories of muggings because people just have no awareness of who is around them. I’ve actually walked into people who are so engrossed in their little screen that they don’t see me coming towards them. And no, I will NOT get out of their way.

So it’s only Americans that are surprised by this?

Everyone has their eyes on their own damn device here in Pakistan. Sad.

Have you never heard of the country called Asia or something like that? They have people that die from exhaustion after playing MTV video games.

In Japan, not only phone screens but also hand-held game devices.

Some years back, there was a story* about a boy playing his game while walking behind his mother on a local train platform. Apparently, the boy fell off the platform just as a train was approaching. The train came to a screeching halt and authorities found the boy unhurt under the platform still playing his game.

(* too lazy to find a cite)


Good one.

No, I never have.

See, I still have this mythology in my head that French families sit down to dinner together without a cell phone in sight. And that pubs in the U.K. are full of people playing darts, quaffing pints, and telling stories. And that somewhere in various places around the world, people are sitting in sidewalk cafes drinking tiny cups of strong coffee, people-watching, and talking.

I guess not, huh?

Hell, I go to bars and such with wife n friends and I talk to them via text even when they are right next to me. Why? Because I want to look busy so the other assholes at the bar won’t talk to me. Or because the awful music is too loud. Or because I’m NOT talking to me friends/wife at the moment and I want to read the Dope. I can go out to the bar for booze all night and never actually speak to anyone.

Unfortunately, no. I know a whole lot of British, French, Italian and Portuguese people. Some of them currently live in the U.S. and others are just visiting. They are just as glued to their phones as anyone else. Oddly enough, I work in IT and I can’t stand Smart Phones even though I am forced to have one.

I am only partially kidding about Asia. You should see what the Japanese and South Koreans are doing. Africa is all about phones these days too. We are only cooked medium rare here.

You would probably have to visit the Amazon or New Guinea to find isolated populations that aren’t obsessed with Smart Phones yet. I hear some of them still have 3G service. I knew we were in trouble when I was in Costa Rica about 3 years ago and people making less than $300 a month kept asking me to like them on Facebook.

Sigh. Another illusion shattered. I have so few left to keep me warm.

Indonesia resident here. You think AMERICANS are glued to their cell phones? You poor deluded child. You haven’t seen anything compared to the way Indonesians live.

Germany too. For me as a rail commuter it’s particularly annoying as I have places to go, a tight connection in a station very crowded at the morning commuter peak to make, while people amble before me looking at their smartphone.

In February of this year 12 people died in a train crash at Bad Aibling/Bavaria caused by the signalman being distracted by a game on his smartphone (Dungeon Hunter 5), manually overriding two signal interlocks and then pressing the wrong button when sending an emergency stop order.

The only time when I don’t see folks stuck into their phones is when I’m walking on the beach with the doggie at 6.30am.