Flumes Vol. 5: Issue 1, Summer 2020 - Page 14

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The dopamine Smartphone fiend is probably the most despised beast of them all. They wander about train and platforms alike, their necks bent over, buried in their mobile devices, and causing untold chaos. They create bottlenecks, collisions and even fights, all of which spark from their singular lack of any social awareness. They possess a minuscule attention span, flicking irrationally from one social media platform to another, face spasming with the intense rush of dopamine signals.

At the root of this is Barcelona’s status as the fourth most popular European destination for ego-tourism, where social media zealots decent upon the boulevards and beaches to upload pictures of themselves to Instagram, a cocktail of hashtags and narcissism.

So, what of these specimens? Can we expect a world increasingly populated by this subterranean train-folk? The answer, alas, is clear.

In a bid to increase the social diversity of the metro system, the Catalan parliament plans to half the price of public transport tickets during incidents of high pollution in the city, with the nefarious agenda of introducing more citizens to the fluorescent-lit netherworld.