We really mustn’t forget to absorb the world around us

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CLIVE SMITH: I need to do some work on my hurdling technique

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Have you seen the odd-looking beast roaming the streets of Portsmouth?

You know the one I’m talking about. It slowly lollops because its mind is elsewhere.

Stooping forwards with a curved spine, the head is tilted down, almost gazing at the floor. And there’s that haunting, transparent stare as the world passes by, without any form of recognition or interest.

Yes, the Walking/Texting/Facebooking Zombie moves amongst us.

The human race has petered to a saunter as more and more people choose to look at an onion ring in Ohio that resembles Lorraine Kelly over the reality that is unfolding in front of them.

I watched a couple walking hand in hand along the promenade at Hillhead, not talking to one another or watching the sunshine twinkle on the frothy Solent as it stretched out to the island.

Each was buried in intense thumb acrobatics as they ‘updated their statuses’ or posted a comment.

Just like the six billion other people who have access to mobile phones, I too find myself drawn to any form of buzz or bleep from my pocket to check who’s saying what, where and then and to see what my friends think of said incident.

Communication is the essence of humanity and stands us apart from other species like fungi or whelks.

Talking, laughing and interacting are skills that are vital for living happily.

A wise old man told me once that even if your children develop without any specific skills or talents, if they’re confident communicators they’ll do well.

I believe it. I’ve made a questionable living out of talking and writing – I literally don’t have any other skills.

I’m no Luddite. I love new technology and struggle (like my dad did in the ’80s with the VCR) to get to grips with daily technological developments and updates.

But we need to keep the chat chattering, enjoy a walk and actually absorb the world around us or maybe even take a huge punt and actually acknowledge another person as they walk past. Scary stuff eh?

Although not as daunting as a society of personality-rinsed, shuffling technoholics.

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