I was very fortunate to grow up in the era that I did. A time when kids came home from school and went outside to play. Where pick up baseball, basketball and football games were a thing of beauty and a joy to be a part of. Life was so much different back then. Yea, yea, I know, this already makes me feel old. But, life was just different in the 1980’s. My birthday is in December and I would always have a birthday party on a Saturday. The highlight was a football game we would have in my front lawn before we went inside for food and fun. I would actually ponder who to invite so we would have even teams. (I know, crazy, right?) Every party was great and my dad’s old 8mm movie camera recorded all the footage that we still have today. It was just a different era.
I started with all this because I feel there is so much of this generation today that doesn’t take advantage of all that life has to offer. Communication is boiled down to a text, tweet, instagram or snapchat post. The other day I went to the dentist. As I sat in the office and watched the show that was on HGTV, I noticed everyone there was looking down to their phones and was isolated from the real world unless the receptionist called their name. I see this all the time. Restaurants, malls, schools, we can’t go 10 minutes without “checking” something. I remember when my grandparents would tell me about the depression and life without tv and me thinking how tragic. But now, our youth has replaced playing outdoors and talking to one another with texting and messaging. Now, I do it myself as well, but, I would prefer to TALK to someone face to face and have a conversation rather than text half sentences on my tiny phone using my pudgy fingers!
I know it is the way of life today and our technology has driven our lives for the past 10 years. But, there are dangers to messaging texting and posting. When you can sit behind a screen or phone and say something without looking at the person, as we have seen on many occasions, what can be said is often vile, cruel and hurtful. Things we would not say in person but feel the safety of a screen to hide behind. Is this really great for our culture? Can the young minds of today actually verbally communicate with each other? I don’t think so. Is our youth growing up learning to help and work with others? I really can’t say for sure. What would they do if social media didn’t exist? Would they know how to handle interpersonal relationships?
Another example of being lost in a phone happened last year in Polk County, Florida. A 27-year-old woman was walking on a sidewalk and approached a railroad crossing. With the train approaching and the conductor blowing the whistle, she continued to walk looking down texting not having any idea that a 100ton train was coming. Well, sure enough, she NEVER looked up and was hit by the train and thrown several feet. Here is the YouTube clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ClUvrz-7pA She was treated for a broken arm and other trauma. No other info was given on her condition. But I cannot, for the life of me, understand how you can walk by a crossing and not even think about looking up for the train especially with a loud horn blowing. Didn’t we all learn to look both ways before crossing? Oh wait, that was the 1980’s. What is on the phone that is so important to not even consider looking where you are going?
The news reporter for the story didn’t say whether or not the phone survived.
Can we Talk????