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Last fall, after years of raids on social networks , I closed my accounts. I logged out of Facebook, I removed the Twitter app from the smartphone. I had at an average of 5 tweets per day for about 4 years . Luckily I suddenly stopped… I’m impressed .

Reason number one for whom I have closed all : socials had taken my life.

I followed the boom of smartphones and without realizing it I shared everything. Too much. And when you share everything at some point arrives a semi-stranger asshole who writes:

“ Hey, I wrote you on Facebook , I saw that you’re always online. Why after three days you have not answered me yet? “

Probably the straw that broke the camel’s back . With a large delay, I realized that I had done something wrong in the use of social. I was drunk of sharing, of like, tweets and notifications. I was totally addicted .

Go offline and you’ll be happy, I said to myself. And so I did.

Probably if I had not been to Singapore, the message from the stranger would have slipped away. I would be limited to a wink ;) and diplomatically would have shared another tweet or another photo. Useless, but always good to pull up some likes in the socials.

Reason number two. Singapore in fact. A city of robots. I had heard about the city: clean, safe, perfect, futuristic and awesome. Ok . Let’s put aside the city, the skyscrapers and the shopping malls . Let’s talk about the people.

Singapore underground — photo Giorgio Fochesato

Let’s talk about the people of Singapore or about smartphones. There is not much difference. In Singapore I have seen the future and I shuddered.

Just take a ride on the metro to understand how the phones have ruined people. I’ve seen people walk down the street holding a tablet with two hands, without looking where he walked, the important was not to miss the latest episode of The Voice. It does not matter if you have to crash into someone else, the important thing is to never remove the gaze from your rectangular friend, preferably a 10 inches digital tablet.

I’ve seen people scroll pages of the smartphone for endless minutes, without doing anything , without opening any app. Simply go back and forth with your thumb and staring on the screen of the phone. Back and forth, without doing anything. I’ve seen people playing Candy Crush in every corner of the city, at any time. In line at McDonalds, on escalators, walking in the subway. Say “ Hi” to his friend , looking down, three bubbles exploded, pull out your eyes and say “ How are you “, look down and explode three more bubbles.

In Singapore you do not do anything without interacting with your smartphone. I saw scenes on trains where we were thirty people and the only ones who were not using a smartphone were me and my girlfriend. Everyone else was looking down at the smartphone, in strict silence . The people in Singapore do not use the phone to make phone calls, I have not seen anyone calling. I’ve only seen people using Facebook or stupid games. Five days in Singapore and we only saw one person reading a real book. I still doubt that it was an hallucination.

I may be wrong, but the Italian trains are much better where people scream at the phone speaking with their mum about the next delicious pasta. At least we communicate, we are real, we interact.

So “thank you Singapore” for giving me the knowledge that smartphones and tablets are ruining us, we do not talk anymore. I have seen the future and I know now that life is better in the past.

Go offline.

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Giorgio Fochesato