We are constantly being told we live in a world of instant information. Anything we need to know is a touch of a button away. The internet, then broadband development and now the era of smart phones mean you are immediately informed of any fresh emails, Facebook notifications and tweets. Many people decry this constant engagement, saying that it is stifling real one-to-one interaction and proper ‘me time’ but I guess the obvious counter-point to this is that no one is forcing you to do it either. Switch your phone off if you want to escape. I often do.
But sometimes you find yourself in that rare situation when you are locked away from the outside world actually unable to find out something you really want to know. I’ve often heard whispers at funerals with people, mainly men it must be said, wondering how the ‘match’ is going. The same can happen at weddings. I remember the wedding of one of the O’Reilly’s from Castlebar/Breaffy, mad GAA people, which was on the same day as a Connacht final Mayo were playing in. If it was tough enough on them not to be at the match, then it was God help the hotel hosting the reception to try get them sitting for the meal while they were watching the last ten minutes of the game in the bar.
I was caught out of the loop myself on Saturday. Even if I’m not near a TV, the iPhone is always keeping me in touch. Except when I’m playing a game though.
Saturday brought our soccer team in Galway to Castle Park over in the east of the city. Trouble was it was clashing with the clash of Manchester United, whom I support, and Manchester City. Before our game started I knew United were 1-0 up at half-time but while our first half was progressing, so was the second half in Old Trafford.
Anyone that walked near the goal I was meant to be protecting was asked if they knew the update. Seconds after I was told it was one all, a shot was fired in my direction with me facing away from the play listening to news from a faraway field. Thankfully the shot hit the bar. I assured my defenders I had the situation under control. Thousands wouldn’t believe me, they didn’t either.
Nearly half an hour later a typical Galway city sham was able to tell me United had won. ‘You’d want to have seen the goal Rooney scored man, unreal’, said my version of Radio 5 Live for the day. He was sure to be disappointed by subjecting himself to our match after. Not a goal for the 90 minutes and hardly any goalmouth action. I probably should have brought the iPhone with me.