Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Technology without teens

When Konnie wrote her blog about how attached to their gadgets people are, I couldn’t see the problem. When I drive around town, I don’t see lot of people walking around with their face glued to their screen. Okay, I don’t see a lot of people walking period, and only once did I see someone walking along talking on their phone.
It’s not as if I haven’t seen people answer their phone while shopping, I have. I’ve even done it, but I don’t see people so intent on their devices that they don’t see or interact with the people around them. This problem doesn’t seem to have hit around here.
Nowadays, I usually eat alone, even when I eat out. And the last time I did so, I saw three generations of a family enjoying each other’s company and a man sitting alone reading the paper, which seems to about normal from my experience.
I don’t even answer my phone when I’m driving. I do know people do. I have a friend who did that once when I was her passenger and she cut the call short when she noticed how panicked I was. Sorry, but I know that’s dangerous. It scares me.
Konnie talked about people not interacting with other humans, just focusing on their devises, she talked about people doing that sitting in waiting rooms. Well, okay, sometimes I do take my reader out, but other people are reading the magazines made available there. Other times, I strike up a conversation, if the person next to me isn’t reading something. And I do admit, I spend most of my days on my computer, but I am alone now, besides part of the time includes chatting in IM with Konnie or her daughters, or some other friend. Sometimes I even chat with several people at once in IM, but I am interacting with others!
Maybe I don’t see the problem because I don’t interact with that many young people (other than Konnie’s kids). I have friends who don’t have computers, let alone cell phones or readers. When I go out to lunch with my friends, we chat over the meal. When I go to visit my friends, we visit. I can only think of one person in all my recent visits who even had a computer, and she did leave it on, but she also turned her back to it to chat with me.
I do have friends with cell phones, but they don’t sit around sending messages instead of visiting. I’ve actually never seen any of them send a text message, not even those with one of those smart phones. Selfies? I barely even know what the word means, never witnessed it.
I do know there is a problem in some areas. Once our local news had deal about students at a university further east of here having problems with drivers hitting students who weren’t paying attention to where they were going because they had their faces glued to their screen. But they only mentioned it happening at university across the state, not at the one here in town, and honestly the last time I drove past there, I did see students walking, but none of them had their faces glued to their screens, not one.

And my hometown is bigger than the town where they have had a problem, so it can’t be size of the town. But maybe, just maybe there is hope for our future. At least the young people here aren’t glued to their screen.

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