Is it just me, or is it getting a bit much watching Ibiza life unfold through the mobile phone of the person standing in front of you? I mean, I am all for technology, I embrace social media and I have even taken far too many selfies with my cats to mention, but at some point, there’s got to be a limit. I think it’s safe to say society – not just here on the island but all around the world – has crossed a line and now as we go about our daily lives there are just TOO MANY MOBILES. But now we’ve reached this point, is there any chance of going back? This thought was first prompted when I saw the succession of photos of poor (well certainly not financially poor!) Conor McGregor in Ibiza this week. Now, before anyone gets defensive, I want to state that I can clearly see he likes being in the public eye. He walks with a certain swagger. He dresses (well, when he has a shirt on) with, err, panache. He talks big in front of cameras. And sure, once you’ve become a public figure, fame and recognition are all part of the package. But does he really want in excess of 300 mobile phones pointed at him while he’s standing on a dance floor in Ibiza? Or standing in a queue waiting to get inside a venue? I think not. Well, at least not after the first 30 seconds anyway.
I would say 80-percent of the people in that venue DID NOT have their eyes on Conor McGregor. They had their eyes on their mobile phone screens, watching Conor McGregor. Or even worse – they just aimed their phones in his direction and watched the footage back later, while gossiping with their friends that they’d just seen Conor McGregor. (Side note: great Fendi slides Conor. Hmm. Now I guess I wouldn’t have seen them without all those people taking your pics now, would I?) It’s hard to tell exactly from the pictures, but it looks as though McGregor has at least five bodyguards surrounding him at all times – despite the fact he can clearly handle himself physically. As I saw them forming a wall, almost like a human shield around him at times, I couldn’t help but think how difficult it must be just to interact with your friends – like a normal human being in an Ibiza club – when you’ve got five giants blocking your view?
Just last night I saw a similar thing happen in the Wild Corner – aka, the toilets – at Hï Ibiza. There I was, at the side of the DJ booth minding my own business when I got completely swept out of the way by another wall of giant security men (around seven seriously big dudes) as they swept their client into the side entrance of the booth so she could dance without fear of the general public making any physical contact. They proceeded to block the entire side wall and corner of the booth, so the general public couldn’t even get a look at their client… however a few hundred strategically held mobile phones quickly determined it was Naomi Campbell. And then the mobile madness continued. (Another side note: Naomi was much smaller than I’d expected her to be.) Meanwhile, over in the Pikes camp earlier this week, it couldn’t have been more different. Our lady Kate (Moss, not Middleton) was spotted having a lovely time with her close pals Jaime Winston and Jade Jagger after the Primal Scream gig earlier in the evening – with just one bodyguard on hand in case of emergencies. And when I say spotted – I mean just that. People saw them with their very own eyes, clocked it, mentioned it and moved right along – because Pikes is the kind of place where everyone is so consumed with having their own fun, throwing a couple of celebrities into the mix isn’t going to distract them. (Last side note: There was indeed one Pikes-goer who perhaps was unaware that it’s un-PC to wave iPhones in famous people’s faces – rather than receiving high fives from their friends for their efforts, a certain Pikes staffer swiftly snatched the phone and deleted the offending images. Hurrah!)
Go to any Ibiza nightclub these days and the ‘front rows’ of the dance floor are no longer full of ravers dancing as if their lives depended on it. They are full of people holding their phones up towards the DJs – photos, videos, Shazam-ing tracks, Insta-storytelling, Facebook live-ing and more. Go to the toilets and girls (I can’t say I have any experience in the men’s!) aren’t making friends with those in the queues next to them anymore – they’re just trout pouting and taking the obligatory #toiletselfie. Survey a restaurant and you’ll see tables full of people with their heads down, uploading their latest picture of their meal to social media (#foodporn). Where has all the human interaction gone? If you’re just experiencing Ibiza through the lens of an iPhone, are you really experiencing Ibiza at all? Some would argue yes – that this is the very definition of ‘experiencing’ in this day and age. But I have to disagree. There is no photographic evidence of some of the best moments of my life (like that time I danced and drank champagne with Prince William and the former Ms Middleton at Pacha) – because I was genuinely experiencing those moments, not spending hours of my life trying to visually craft the perfect moment for an audience. Of course, I also understand wanting to preserve memories – cameras are a wonderful invention! But surely, they just don’t need to be in your hand all night, every night. After all, what are you going to do with all those photos once you’re back home anyway? In the case of amateur paparazzi style shots of supermodels and fighters, the quality of your iPhone snap isn’t good enough to on-sell it to a newspaper or gossip mag. In the case of trout pout toilet selfies – has anyone actually ever printed one or framed it and sent it to their mother? Food photos – ditto? Is the sound quality of all those videos you took of your favourite DJ playing your favourite song in your favourite club good enough to hook up to your home speaker and rave around the house to? I think not. Now on one hand, if you get home from your holiday, and you print out those photos or watch those videos every night and they genuinely make you happy, who am I to judge? But on the other hand – and right now I’m reverting to my original point and talking about pics that prove you were once in close proximity to someone famous and their wall of bodyguards, who you never actually met – what is the point and what does it prove? If everyone would just think, before raising their mobiles, I bet the world would be a remarkably much better place. Of course, should Conor McGregor actually want to take a selfie with me, I’m right here…