Write Again . . . We are “captives”

Published 7:12 pm Friday, October 12, 2018

Someone remarked that we, as a people, a country, now spend much of our lives looking at a screen.

You might call us “screen people.” We are captives, in a very real sense, of our constantly evolving, expanding technology. Our times in history books (Books? Will they still have books as we know them?) will be known as the “Information Age.”

Television. Computer. iPad. iPhone. Smart phone. Whatever.

Without information technology tools available today, the medical arts, in just about every conceivable way, would not be able to disseminate real-time information. We do not want to regress back to those non-tech days. Unthinkable.

And so it is with the worlds of commerce, finance, manufacturing, transportation and so much of all that we rely upon as a modern society.

Even as you are reading this, and as I write this, millions of Americans, billions of people all over our world, are looking at a screen. A screen on some form of technology.

The downside of this is, of course, what is called “social media.” Not all of it, but that part which is simply trivial, and especially that which is spurious, often of a political nature. The lies, half-truths, and out-of-context statements; assertions, accusations. That so many seem to believe anything negative they see on the internet is so troubling, and ill-serves our democratic liberties.

Some may get a little current events information on one of their devices. Most young people, quite probably, do not read about the news on their phones. Most young people, quite probably, are news, geography and history illiterate. Those subjects are not something that holds an interest for them.

It is not a sky-is-falling alarmist view to have real concerns about how some of our IT world is ill-serving our young people, especially those of school age. Monopolizing their time.

Accessing social media can become seductive, and addictive, for so many of our young citizens. But that’s where we are today.

A sunrise. A sunset. The rain. A rainbow. A lake, a river, an ocean. The majesty of our mountains. Wildlife, and domestic animals. Pets. Human contact in person. And on and on, almost infinitum. I’ll take all this real essence of life I mentioned, and so much more, over social media almost every time.

How we use all this information-providing technology, on a personal level, is up to each of us. It can be beneficial in so many ways.

And … it can be an exercise in knowing about much that is of dubious value at best.

Perhaps the best suggestion, especially to our younger generations, would be to take time away from your screens. Have screenless times, even screenless days, in your lives.

Not going to happen.

Note — If you see my Incomparable First Wife on Monday, wish her a “Happy Birthday.” If you see her Tuesday, wish her a “Happy Anniversary.” If you see me, congratulate me on my very good fortune!