Oblivious To The Chatter…

I am putting on my soothsayer hat for this post so be forewarned. 🙂

I did my weekly walk at the mall, as usual, this week and again saw so many people thoroughly attached to their cell phones. Many just can’t seem to even put them in their pockets anymore, they have to constantly hold them.  I don’t know what the current generation of cell phone users is called, I can’t seem to keep up with that, but I do know they were introduced to that device at a very young age. They have known about instant communications their whole lives.

2018-10-05_16-02-55.pngI know I am an old fart because I actually remember using rotary dial telephones that were attached to the wall via a plastic cord.  As a matter of fact, I was once responsible for the engineering of these phones! Back then, the only way to communicate with home after you left was to find a phone that you put a dime in and dial your home number. Yeah, that is where the term “dial” came from 🙂

Moving into my soothsayer mode, I think there will come a time when it is fashionable to put your cell phone out of sight and out of mind.  Initially, there will be a few brave souls who will become oblivious to the constant chatter around them. They will find a better use for the average 5 hours a day that people currently use their phones.  These pathfinders will eventually lead many others to treat their communications tool as a “tool” instead of an obsession.  When will this happen? I kinda think it is not that far off…

Never Alone…

I have let it be known before that I am a mall walker.  Every Friday I walk up to three miles at the local mall. It is good and safe exercise for this 70+-year-old deaf guy. 🙂  One of the things I do pretty regularly during these mall walks is to take unofficial surveys.  Sometimes I count the number of women wearing heels higher than 1 inch (around 2%). This time I chose to count the number of kids younger than thirty who are walking the mall clinging their cell phones. I’m not talking about them having them in their pants, but actually never letting go of them.  Many of those weren’t actually using or looking at their phones, they were just holding them. I was quite surprised by the results.

2018-01-26_16-25-59.pngI counted about 45 people in this age category and 30 of them were holding their phones. Of the fifteen who weren’t, eleven were men an four were women carrying babies or packages.

I am a techie so of course I most often have my cell with me when I leave the house.  I average about 25 text messages a month and zero calls so that makes me an extremely light user according to statistics:

According to a New York Times report, both teens and adults check their smartphones 150 times per day (or every six minutes), and send an average of 110 texts per day.
For many teenagers these days, texting is passé, so they have upgraded to platforms like Snapchat and Instagram—suggesting that these numbers may not represent actual usage.

Around 46 percent of smartphone users say that they “couldn’t live without” their phone, and one-in-three would rather give up sex than their cell phone…

More Teen Statistics

  • 2018-02-28_19-26-45.png92 percent of teens go online daily, and 24 percent say they are online “almost constantly.”
  • 76 percent of teens use social media (81 percent of older teens, 68 percent of teens ages 13 and 14).
  • 71 percent of teens use Facebook, 52 percent use Instagram, 41 percent use Snapchat, 33 percent use Twitter.
  • 77 percent of parents say their teens get distracted by their devices and don’t pay attention when they’re together.
  • 59 percent of parents say they feel their teen is addicted to their mobile device.
  • 50 percent of teens say they feel addicted to their mobile device.

via Cell Phone Addiction in Teens is Real: Scary Statistics & Some Helpful Advice. | elephant journal

The crux to all of this at least to me is that most teenagers are never alone as they are constantly sending or receiving messages to and from others. Most sleep with their cellphone on their nightstands. I imagine some even hold on to them when they sleep.

Creativity almost always starts with the person alone with their thoughts. How can that happen now? Are we stifling creativity in this generation?  I don’t want to sound like an old person who laments for the “good old days” but I think something has to change in the coming years.

The Good Old Days??

HavingMySay Banner   Everything has two sides, a good side and a dark side, a happy side and a sad side, but nothing is totally black and white.  How’s that for an opening sentence. 🙂

canstockphoto30875540.jpgThe main crux for this post is about all those who want the “good old days” back  as to mean when we didn’t have so much technology in our lives. They constantly complain about how so many people seem to be glued to their cell phones and such. But if they thought it through would they really like to go back fifty year or more?

Would they give up all the medical advances that technology has provided? I personally recently had a traumatic brain event that would more than likely killed me if it were 50 years ago. Today, with all the advanced imaging techniques they could precisely determine the locations and severity of my brain bleed and fix it with a two hour surgery.  So, personally I can answer that I am very grateful for all the technology advances of the last fifty year. Especially in the medical field.

I can remember in college when I had to write some papers on a subject I had to spend hours going through the card files at the university library and then spend even more hours finding and studying the sources that were on those cards.  Writing a routine paper was usually a twenty hour event.  Today most questions can be answered with a Google search which takes seconds to do. We can all learn about almost any subject at least enough to be dangerous in a matter of minutes. 🙂 How many of us would give all that up and return to all those dusty 3 x 5 index cards?

I can remember as a kid living close to the “Army Finance Center” in Indianapolis. It was a HUGE building containing about 4,000 desks and probably 50,000 filing cabinets. The job of all these people was to issue the monthly paychecks to military personnel. Today that job is probably handled in closet sized space and a couple racks of computers.

For at least us guys out there I know we wouldn’t want to go back to having our wives nag us to ask for directions when we are traveling.  Even when we did stop most often those directions were either wrong or too complicated to remember.  Then there was the time when we were visiting a southern State and they gave us completely bogus directions because they saw our plates were from a northern State.  I thank God for GPS and would never want to go back to what is was fifty years ago.

Ok, just one last example and I will let this all rest.  Fifty years ago an average car lasted for about 40,000 miles before it was a complete junk.  It probably got no more than a dozen or so miles per gallon and broke down on a monthly basis.  Fast forward to today and my little 2012 Chevy Sonic gets 35 mpg and has had nothing but a few very minor problems. It should easily last for 200,000 miles or more. And it has twelve airbags to protect me in case of an accident.

If you really want to give up all these and thousands of other things then by all means do it.  But, don’t ask the rest of us to join you in your retrograde desires.