This month at what if Dublin, we took at look at how mobile phones and other wireless devices are affecting our city. With 70 percent of the population now carrying smart devices and with technology advancing at a rapid rate, how can the city keep up with these rapid developments?
We have all experienced the negative impact of smart technology on our lives. From enduring blaring pop music on the DART, to being exposed to business calls on the park bench, to a selfie stick invading your personal space and the list goes on.
What if Dublin enforced restrictions on smart devices in public spaces? What if there existed No-Phone Zones within the city where people could experience the city for what it is? What if Dublin banned or restricted phones from galleries, restaurants, parks or public transport? What would this mean for the city? And how would this affect us?
In 2004 the smoking ban was enforced with a hefty on the spot fine. This was a huge culture shock at the time and approximately 30 percent of the population were against it. However 13 years on now and most of us can agree that it was for the best. Could similar laws towards smart devices benefit the city and its inhabitants?
Imagine a city where public parks are no-phone zones, where citizens can enjoy a quiet and peaceful stroll through the park… Imagine getting on the bus and having a conversation with the person beside you who isn’t lost in “social media”… Imagine going to a concert and not having to look at the band through a field of hundreds of glaring smartphones and selfie sticks. Imagine walking down Grafton Street without having to dodge people walking blind whilst texting…Imagine experiencing the now and not living life through your phone. We live in a beautiful city that many people never really experience, that people never even see. What if we made this a reality? Would people be able to switch off their phone or turn it on silent?
On the other hand, restricting usage of smart devices in public spaces could come with negative impact. You may be contactable in emergencies. You may not be able to post your photos instantaneously. You may not be able to navigate through the city. However having to deal with these situations without our smart phones may make us even smarter in the long run.
We regret to inform you that this will be the last article in our series in Totally Dublin. We hope you have enjoyed the articles as much as we have. Follow us on Twitter via @what_if_Dublin where the debate continues..
Words: What if Dublin Team
Orginal Image Perry O’ Donovan https://wordkern.wordpress.com/about/
Image What If Dublin Team