Many people dream of sitting in a gondola, exploring all the wonders of Venice on the water. However, in this modern age, it seems passengers are more interested in what’s happening on their Smartphones than the historical treasures and beauty surrounding them.

As a gondolier was taking a group of four passengers through the Venice canals recently, he became despondent that each of them spent the entire ride staring at that small screen, rather than the wonders surrounding them. Ironically he captured the tourists on his own phone, posting the resulting video to Facebook.

Gondola passengers stare at their smartphones

As reported by The Local Italy, in his caption to the video, the gondolier had sarcastically said it had been a “fantastic ride.” He said his customers were happy as they enjoyed all the beauty of the city, adding they had really appreciated the gondola ride. He joked that the passengers had taken many photos and made many comments about their trip, saying he is sure they will soon return to the wonderful city of Venice.

Readers can Watch the video taken by the gondolier in Venice here.

On spotting the video, Aldo Cazzullo, a journalist with the Italian news website Corriere, couldn’t resist writing about the story, asking what is the point of traveling the world, spending plenty of money on a trip to Venice, only to stare at your smartphone the entire time?

More important to impress your friends

He went on to say that smartphones are turning us into “zombies.” In his article, he states that these tourists were probably just trying to let their friends know they were in Venice. They most likely then proceeded to take selfies while eating some sardines, filmed a couple wearing 18th-century costumes in the streets or recorded a Venetian concert in a desperate attempt to entertain and impress their friends.

Cazzullo said in other words that by sitting glued to their smartphones they were just serving their own egos and narcism, while not enjoying or appreciating the beauty around them.

They have forgotten how to enjoy the journey, get excited over sights and sounds, and to simply live.

Living in a virtual world instead of the real one

Cazzullo went on to laud the gondolier for sarcastically highlighting the dangers of only living a virtual life and not a real one. However, he did go on to criticize him for not trying to bring the tourists back to life, maybe by singing a song, pointing out a particular attraction or telling them a story.

He then pointed to the irony of the fact that the gondolier had captured the whole thing on video – on his own smartphone.