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Put Down Your Devices and Look Around, People

By Guest Writer on October 09, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

FindLaw columnist Eric Sinrod writes regularly in this section on legal developments surrounding technology and the Internet.

I believe that I have the world's greatest commute. I board the ferry at Larkspur Landing in Marin County, California and travel thirty minutes across the water to the Ferry Building in downtown San Francisco.

Friday morning was a gorgeous day. The sun was shining, the sky was crystal clear with the moon still hanging high, and the water was sparkling.

From the ferry ride, there were gorgeous views of Mount Tamalpais, Angel Island, the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, the Bay Bridge, San Francisco, as well as Berkeley and a bit of Oakland.

So, naturally the other ferry riders were taking in the sights and marveling at the views, right? Wrong!

Technology is wonderful and technology is good. However, it can take us away from the real world around us.

Indeed, as I looked around, it seemed that the vast majority of the other ferry commuters were head down intent on their smart phones, iPads and laptops, with many wearing earphones to totally remove themselves from the here and now.

I must admit, I too fall prey to technology addiction.

Yes, I am known to spend a lot of time on my smart phone and to go to it often.

But still, on a day like Friday, I can and do put the smart phone away and just bask in the sheer beauty of real life.

After all, I get to work just 30 minutes after the commute starts, so there still is plenty of time left in the day to be married to my work computer.

Hopefully, the other ferry riders who missed out on Friday find other times to be present and observant while not hooked into their devices. Perhaps Friday just was not their day.

Eric Sinrod is a partner in the San Francisco office of Duane Morris LLP ( where he focuses on litigation matters of various types, including information technology and intellectual property disputes. His Web site is and he can be reached at To receive a weekly email link to Mr. Sinrod's columns, please send an email to him with Subscribe in the Subject line. This column is prepared and published for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The views expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the author's law firm or its individual partners.

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