Ever been annoyed by the person who is perpetually texting when you are trying to engage in conversation? Ever been so caught up with penning that tweet that you ended up missing the train?
I have experienced those situations in one way or another, and I’m sure many have too.
“Social Rehab”, organized by 3 Bartle Bogle Hegarty interns, aims to be a place for people to rehabilitate their weaknesses and to wean off their dependency of technology. The longer one kept their phone locked up in the lockers provided, the more drink discounts they got!
The typical reaction to lulls or silences in a group conversation would entail people looking down and continuing a separate conversation on their phone. When technological distractions were placed aside, alcohol loosened lips to give way to more meaningful conversation, where people were actually communicating instead of merely exchanging meaningless words to each other.
The trio Sarah, Rhys and Scarlet launched the site www.socialrehab.sg as part of their internship program. Tinted-yellow ‘instagram’ paper glasses were given out along with “like” stickers. They wanted to convince people to go offline on their social networks when they are ‘online’ in real-time with their friends. It garnered much interest on the internet and saw a crowd of people turning up for the event at Loof, a rooftop bar.
Loof had recently been renovated and it is much more spacious. It features a new sprawling garden-concept, and the once red leather seats were replaced by bamboo-print upholstery. The previously bright-panelled air-conditioned zone has now been replaced to feature a scallop-tiling motif. Stashed with knick-knacks from yesteryear, the Mama Shop is made from red, corrugated metal sheet and greets the guest the moment they step out of the lift.
I was the first to cave in, to the mock disapproval of my peers. I felt so compelled to reply an SMS that I was awaiting; guess I’ll be needing more social rehab soon.