My wife and
I have a membership at the university gym in town. We walk the track in the winter time. We don’t interact with the kids just
transmogrifying into adulthood. We view them as curious creatures with a connection
to our DNA, in the same manner we view chimpanzees; as different enough to be
considered another species.
We try to
arrive at the gym around noon when the students have gone to feed; but the last
time we were there was during a peak usage.
It was amazing. All the student
walking the track had their cell phones in their hand or plugged into their
ears, the students running the outside of the track were wired into their cell
phones, all young people on the exercise bikes had their cell phone balanced
atop their display panels or plugged into their ears, one young girl was stretching
on a mat while reading her text messages.
Only one; a
tiny young girl, running at a demented pace on the Nordic Track, didn’t seem to
have a bionic connection to a cell phone.
If a cell
phone implant was available, I wonder how many of this new generation would
spend the night in the parking lot, waiting for the hospital to open, to be
first in line for the implant?
OK, I can
understand this. Children, a couple of
generations after mine, were raised in front of a television: Mr. Rogers and
Sesame Street. This new generation was
introduced to some type of computer before they were even potty trained.
The thing I
find curious is the attachment to cell phones for people born before 1970. These people spent at least thirty years of
their life – over half of their life – never knowing what a cell phone
was. They got up in the morning and
went to work or school, came home, had supper, watched television and went to bed. They probably went for days without using a
telephone. If they were traveling, or
involved in an activity, and found they needed to communicate by phone, they
either waited until they got home or used a public pay telephone.
and older never suffered by not having immediate and continuous connection to a
telephone or the internet. Yet, today, they can’t sit in a restaurant
without checking their cell phone.
Sometimes in restaurants when a person’s cell phone goes off, I feel
like standing up and shouting: Turn off your damn phone. You’re not that important.
My wife and I attend a playhouse in the summer
time. We always go to the Wednesday
matinees, which are mainly attended by older people. At the beginning of each play the stage
manager announces to people to turn off their cell phones. I have never attended a play that at least
one cell phone didn’t go off during the performance.
I have got
to admit that I have a cell phone, and when we lost electricity during the wind
storm last week and our land line was down, I turned it on and called the
I plug our
cell phone in once a month to keep it charged.
In case of an apocalyptic disaster caused by global warming and wiping
out civilization, I want to be able to call my friend and tell him: I told