About a decade ago, people on the train used to read. Novels and newspapers, and it were those on phones who were in the minority. Now everyone is on a smartphone, and it's terrifying.
As a society, I believe that we're all getting dumber and evolution is going backwards. Which is proven by the four word film title, 'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter'.
It probably started out as some grand historical narrative to inspire a renewed interest in politics, but the producers thought, 'Nah. They're not going to get anything clever. It needs less politics, and more vampires.'
The statistics and studies agree with me. For example, it's a fact that over the last three years, the average number of teeth of each Collingwood supporter has dropped from three to 1.5. Okay, that's obviously a joke. We all know that they don't have any.
Seriously though, the average test scores at schools are all dropping, and the studies and intellectuals all agree that a big part of the problem is that nobody reads books anymore.
When you read a book, you pause to think about it. By not reading enough, we're losing the ability to think deeply and to contemplate things. As a result, our attention spans are shrinking, and our brains are turning into mush.
One argument is that the people on smartphones, well the ones not like playing games, they're reading stuff. Like web pages, emails, and tweets and that. Which counts, doesn't it?
No, it doesn't. You don't read a webpage, you scan it. Since there are too many bright flashing things, and there's so much else going on. Checking your email, updating your facebook status, 'I just had the best dumplings ev-er!'
'Look at my kid. In oversize sunglasses, drinking a baby chino. Isn't it the cutest baby ev-er?'
Or tweeting what's just happened, 'Who's been outside today? It's raining. Lol. #lostumbrella
'That muffin was totes disgusting. OMG FML. #worstmorningever'
All we're constantly saying is, 'Look at me, Look at me, Look at me!'
Really though, nobody's looking unless you're naked, famous, or covered in vomit. While holding a cat. I still don't get the whole cat thing.
As a result, our attention spans are shrinking that fast that soon enough they'll be down to twelve seconds, and we'll be a society of goldfish. Happy in our fishbowl office or apartment, constantly babbling meaningless part words into cyberspace.
Put down the phone, and pick up a book. You might just become interested by something that isn't your friends latest crush, a cute baby, or a fat celebrity. Who knows, that something might even have some artistic value and enrich you.
You know what happens if you don't check your email/Facebook/Twitter for a whole hour? Or a day? You know what you will have missed? Absolutely nothing.
Follow Xavier Toby on Twitter: www.twitter.com/xaviertoby