Warning: if you read on, you are about to experience a rant.
Instructive in places I hope, yet still a rant.
Recently my wife Maritza and I were at Hartsfield International Airport in Atlanta, the busiest airport in the world. We walked up to wait on the tram that would take us to our gate for our flight. About 20 people were waiting around to board on our section. 18 of the 20 were looking down at their cell phones, checking email, texts, tweets and God only knows what else. My thought, which became my out loud words, was “Does anyone ever look up and see the world around them anymore?” I think someone could walk stark naked through most groups of people and no one would notice (unless it became a YouTube video.)
Did you know that one in six cell phone users between the ages of 22 – 36 have their cell phones paid for by their mom?
A recent Facebook update by a long time friend bemoaned the fact that he had actually (those faint of heart, brace yourself…perhaps you shouldn’t even read on) yes, he actually left the house twice last week without his cell phone. I warned you this would be tough information to swallow. There was a time, not too long ago, when all of us did just that everyday. How did we survive?
In the book “The Winter of Our Disconnect” author and mom Susan Maushart had her entire family go a full six months without any screen time. Good on her. Could you do that? Could I?
My cell phone allows someone’s voice to come in loud and clear. It also has a very sensitive volume control that allows me to turn up the volume and turn down the volume of someone’s voice. So I assume everyone else has this feature too. Though sometimes I think I must be mistaken, because I notice so many people in public feel the need to practically yell into their phones. Or maybe they actually believe that every one within 50 feet of them are hanging on every one of their words.
I’m as guilty as everyone else, so I’m pointing at myself here too. In fact, right now I have immediate access to 3 screens: the laptop on which I am writing this column, the TV on in the background, and my cell phone next to me…
Is there any hope for us at all?