Write Again . . . Our national obsession

Published 6:32 pm Monday, May 25, 2015

They were sitting on the floor of the large performance gazebo at Festival Park. Both were focused on their little hand-held communication gizmos. Their smart-phones, or whatever is the correct name for these ubiquitous gadgets.

My guess was that these two girls were probably in their early teens. One had a purple streak in her hair, and a bit of facial jewelry. Nothing wrong with that.

Beau was actually the reason I walked over to the gazebo, as he was leading me around down at the waterfront.

In what I hoped was a non-threatening manner I asked the girls what exactly — or with whom — they did with their little devices. The answer wasn’t really clear. One girl said something like “I’m not good at talking to people in person.” I responded by saying “You’re doing a good job with me.” No response.

Then one of them said, “Sometimes we text someone who is in the same room,” as if that was the most natural thing in the world. Okay.

This phenomenon seems now to be a national obsession. A real psychological addiction. Why do so many — especially the younger ones among us — engage in this now? The simple answer is, I think, because they can. That’s right. Because they can.

We all see them, and others not so young, engrossed in their thumb-manipulated devices. Such digital dexterity is impressive. Smart thumbs.

It’s everywhere. In the car. Walking from point A to point B. At the table in a restaurant. At a ball game. By themselves. With others. Everywhere. All the time. It is, undeniably, obsessive-compulsive behavior.

Could those so psychologically addicted go an entire day without using these devices? A half-day? An hour? Fifteen minutes?

Could they? Yes. Maybe.

Would they? We know the answer to that, don’t we?

Now, of course there are myriad uses — positive uses — for such information technology. One might wonder, however, if many, if not most, of those we see using their devices are engaged in positive uses. Or if the uses are necessary or unnecessary. What do you think?

Oh, well. So much for the musings of one older non-techie.

As one of my favorite authors would write: So it goes.