Norton of Morton

Read a new instalment of Norton of Morton every Saturday at 4 o'clock

Saturday 23 January 2016

Technological times

In which G.M. Norton would prefer people to stare glumly ahead.

I like to describe Norton of Morton as ‘an analogue periodical in a digital age’. 

As the jolly throwback that I am, I love to dress in a manner befitting of a gentleman and aspire to behave in such a way. Impeccable manners, courtesy and respect all form part of the moral compass that guides me through life.
While I love the elegance and style of the 1920s to the 1950s, and would love to visit each decade for a brief sojourn, I wouldn’t like to live during those times. As much as I adore the fashions, I would much rather adopting those styles now and stand out amongst the polyester and sportswear-clad masses.

Without technology, you wouldn’t be reading this. My thoughts would be held prisoner inside my brain, being driven mad. Yes, chums, this little place does wonders for my sanity.

I do feel though that I have an over-reliance on modern technology. Since having a power cut, we’ve not had internet access at home for almost two weeks. Of course, we’ve still be on the internet, using our mobile devices. ‘Tethering’ is a word I now understand.

I am forever on my phone though and I’m really starting to detest it. There’s always a strong temptation to check something, whether it’s Instagram (which is really quite wonderful, in fairness) or searching for the many random things that pop into my head.

I was browsing some recent family photos and a couple of them featured me in the background, with my head looking down and mobile telephone in hand. Is this what I’ve become? I already have an unofficial rule about not tweeting on a Sunday but I feel like I need to do more than this.

On the rare occasion that I step onto a bus, everybody is looking down at their phones or e-books or portable music machines. I preferred it when people looked glumly forwards or out of the window, trying to avoid eye contact with those around them.

Do you feel like modern electronic contraptions and gizmos are taking over your life?

G.M. Norton
Protagonist of ‘Norton of Morton’



  1. It's hard to say, as my husband is as much a fiend for his phone as I am for mine, and working on a computer all day I'm constantly connected there too. I have left my phone at home when going to the pub recently, and don't miss it in the slightest. And sometimes I fear people are so busy either looking at what's happening elsewhere, or trying to take photos to share with people elsewhere, that they miss out on connecting with where they are. I've really noticed that when travelling.

    1. All super points! I suppose it's the idea that people (myself included) are missing out on moments and memories by detaching themselves from what is happening right in front of them.


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