My archaeologist son will be so proud of me. I have discovered a new genus of human which I have named ‘Homo Oblivious’. Some of the distinct characteristics of this breed of humans include:
· Being lost in their own little world of electronic sights and sounds
· Having wires protruding from their ears
· Strolling aimlessly along the footpath while focused on their semi-raised right or left palm
· Wearing backpacks that appear to have no depth or volume
· Social interaction that involves the entire locality of their presence yet their focus is again only the contents of their hand
· The inability of the male of this genus to wear belts to hold up their pants
· The inability of the female of this genus to go anywhere without an electronic hand-held device somewhere about their person
· The inability of both members of this genus to converse with others of their breed without including the word ‘like’ in every sentence
My discovery of Homo Oblivious comes from many wasted hours commuting to and from work by train. The main source of amusement when observing this genus centres around their unique ability to focus totally on the screens of their phones, swearing profanities when their signal drops out and occasionally missing their alight station because their concentration is so deep with the enjoyment contained in their hands. Squinting and a future that contains bifocals is assured so future entrepreneurs should start investing in OPSM outlets now to avoid the rush.
I had occasion to nearly bump into one of this genus recently. A female of the species was walking the same straight line that I was on, her head down, palm was elevated and her ears were wired. I, of course, spotted this creature from quite a distance away and decided to experiment with the Large Hadron Collider principle to see whether two particles travelling in opposite directions can generate a reaction. Neither of us two ‘particles’ varied from our assigned pathway, neither of us wavered an inch from the anticipated collision. But within a mere metre of what could have been an inevitable calamity, her phone rang and she looked with a stare that could have taken the wallpaper off a 1970’s hallway. This raised a question: who has right of way when one encounters a Homo Oblivious? Clearly the answer lies somewhere in the distant future where archaeologists will dig up many of this genus and then speculate as to why so many of them have had surgery for busted noses!
One could also speculate about generations to come. If we are experiencing this phenomenon now, would it be fair to say that progressive generations will encounter even odder behavioural traits or will science save the day? Instead of wires protruding from one’s ears, perhaps one’s ears will already be hard-wired for AM/FM. Perhaps a future genus will have in-built radar that detects approaching obstacles and makes appropriate adjustments to the walking trajectory. The possibilities are endless. But for the poor suffering older generations that have yet to understand the differences between PDF and URL, for goodness sake “Watch the hell where you are going” or Homo Oblivious will become Homo Extinctus.