Posted by Andy Bell
After generations spent as the forgotten digit, the thumb is now very much on the comeback trail.
In Scottish Gaelic the thumb is known as “the little hammer” (thanks to Scottish Gaelic Society of Victoria for that piece of info) and I reckon that is pretty right.
As I observe life and those in it from my seat on the 55 tram I see the humble thumb as hammering many a traveller into what appears to be digital submission.
As Blackberries are gripped like grim death and iPods grappled with, I have noticed that the thumb is rarely still.
It is forever tapping and twirling. It seems to be an extension of a rarely settled mind. Attention spans are as short as the span from thumb to little finger (the hammer to the little money finger – an ordag gu meur bheag an air giod).
Songs seem to be rarely heard to an end. Emails are rarely read to their conclusion. The little hammer smashes all to smithereens before a conclusion is reached
I prefer a book or magazine on my tram rides through Royal Park. But that is not without more than an occasional upward glance at the terrain.
That kind of attention span is “a good thing” in many people’s minds, while they see the ever moving thumb as something approaching evil!
I am not so sure.
We are well used to seeing fellow travellers looking up from their solid reading matter to take in the view.
So, isn’t the recently introduced hither and thither of the thumb simply just another sign that all our minds are rarely still ?