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Kick anti-social media out of caffs; THIS ReBEL LIFE; A voice for those who may be old in age but not in heart.


I was sitting in my local greasy spoon, waiting for my friend Charles. I call it a "greasy spoon". It used to be a greasy spoon, with coffee in glass cups and bacon butties and the radio tuned to Jimmy Young.

Now it's a greasy spoon-THEMED eating space, and all the Formica is ironic. There are ketchup bottles in the shape of tomatoes, but now they're filled with organic tomato and miso "ketch". It's the worst place in Brighton, apart from all the others.

In they came, four non-binary young humans, three of them with blue hair, all of them with tattoos and enough piercings to make me worry if anybody walked past with a powerful electromagnet. They ordered their food and sat around a table and then said literally nothing to each other. Their heads were down and they were all looking at their phones.

Four young people! They should have been chatting about who they were bonking and the latest from Clean Bandit and the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, or whoever they're into these days. All the good stuff you do before you get married.

But the only time they looked up was when the food arrived. And then was that to eat it? Of course not. Then the photography started. Pictures of their lunch for Instagram so that other people could see what they weren't eating. Pictures of themselves holding forks with their food in front of them.

Their piping hot avocado toast was tepid by the time they'd finished arranging it themselves.

Our children have raised a generation of imbeciles. They're documenting their lives on their phones and reading the minutiae of other people's lives on their phones, but they're never actually living their damned lives. And they're all doing the same thing! If you're doing exactly the same as all of your friends, how can you be a rebel?

Strong action was required. Somebody needed to make them see sense, to rebel.

I marched over with my squeezy tomato and grabbed the phone from the biggest one. "Live your lives," I cried, "while you're still young."

Then I squeezed organic tomato and miso "ketch" all over his screen, before handing it back.

They made some noise about "criminal damage", so I scarpered and called Charles to suggest we met elsewhere. That's what a bloody phone is for.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Nov 8, 2017
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