I'm still old school, because until I was nearly thirty years old there was no such thing as a mobile phone. Heck, I even remember how cool we thought it was to have a cordless landline! The connected age has left me without hope for the prospect of human discourse. I think my oldest kids--now 29 and 27--were lucky enough to have cell phones in their late teens but when smart phones had not really made their mark and society wasn't addicted as we are now. I have this theory: since the age of "connectivity" there have been less and less witnesses to crime out in public. Everyone is glued to their phones. I just can't do that in public. I'm too engrossed in my surroundings. To me, the people who walk by me, and the scenery of everyday life will always be way more interesting, important, and compelling than texting, or watching videos, or even listening to music. I love music--it's been a big part of my life since I was little, and since my mother was a music teacher, I was surrounded by it. But there's a time when I want to listen to my music. I don't have to have it in my ears 24/7. My kids, as soon as they get in the car, plug the earphones in and tune out everything else. I see their schoolmates walking into school the same way. And what happens? The rest of the day, when they are not allowed to have their constant entertainment filling their heads, becomes an annoyance.
Am I wrong about all this? Maybe. I happen to like my phone and what it can do, but I end up using it primarily as a utility: calendar reminders, appointments, contact information, and oh yes, parking. I love the parking app. Type in the five numbers on the sign, then put in the amount of time you want to park, and bingo, you're done. No more running out to the meter with change when it runs out either. There's a reminder before the expiration, and you can extend time with another couple of taps.
Tap tap tap. That's what we've become. Tap dancers .
It's all very cool, and yes, mostly very convenient. But will convenience overshadow conversation? Will being "connected" mean being unable, or unwilling to truly connect with others? Maybe, maybe not. I know one thing: we won't be taking it with us when we're done tap dancing, right?