May 5, 2014 6:57 pm

Social media making Manitobans less sociable

WINNIPEG – They’re impossible to look away from, especially when many people struggle to put them down.

Smart phones are addictive.

“Most of the day, I have it in my hand,” said Brandi Hanna, a 22-year-old who never ventures far from her iPhone.

During a lunch date with her mom, Brandi’s phone sat right next to her on the table at the restaurant.

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“She checked it probably at least six times,” said Cheryl Hanna, who was in from Flin Flon to visit her daughter. “It would be nice sometimes if she would just focus on me.”

The handheld technology also makes work tough for many people in the restaurant industry.

“You have to take the extra second to get their attention or ask them to move their phone so you can put their food down,” said Kaelin Beriault, the general manager of Stella’s Osborne. “You need to be careful when you pour coffee so you don’t spill on an iPhone.”

A spoken word poem lashing out against generation-Y’s reliance on social media and technology has become a viral sensation. The video, called “Look Up – A spoken word poem film for an online generation” by London-based writer Gary Turk, has garnered more than 15 million views on YouTube.

“This media we call social is anything but,” Turk says in the video, where he encourages people to “learn to coexist.”

Ironically, the video has gone viral thanks to the number of users sharing it on social media sites.

When it comes to using smart phones, it seems there is no place off limits for people, even in church.

“Once in a while, you do see somebody bent over and you see the glow in the face,” said Father Michael Kwiatkowski, from Holy Eucharist Ukrainian Catholic Parish. “I am sure it is the grace of god but its also light from their iPad or smart phone.”

Kwiatkowski said it doesn’t happen often and he hopes people aren’t using their phones to check sports scores or play games.

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