They are everywhere. In restaurants, bars, movie theaters, and banks. They can be found wandering the streets of big cities and small villages alike. I’m talking about the walking dead. No, I don’t mean flesh-eating zombies in search of a slow-moving meal. I’m talking about smartphone junkies. You know the ones, those brain-addled folks who cannot function more than a few minutes without looking at the electronic device that’s literally stealing their souls away.
We’ve all seen the videos on the internet; the ones showing those clueless clowns who plunge into water fountains inside some shopping mall because they can’t bear to look away from the smartphone long enough to save themselves from disaster.
Just sit inside of a restaurant—any restaurant in any city in any country—and watch all the sagging, drooping heads. These brain-dead techno-zombies won’t even bother to socialize with their lunch or dinner companions. They just can’t spare the thirty minutes or so for simple human to human interaction. Their smartphone just won’t allow it.
This is the new society we live in. This is the curse that technology has gifted the human race. How many lives have been lost due to smart phones? I see these fools texting, surfing the internet, and checking emails while at the helm of fast-moving vehicles. I watched one idiot fly through an intersection before T-boning an unsuspecting motorist who had the misfortune of passing through that intersection at the wrong moment in time. The guilty party was texting or checking messages. The rest of us were stopped at the red light. I guess you’re not likely to notice a thing like a red light with your nose buried in a smart phone.
During a recent visit to a local burger joint, I witnessed a grandmother completely ignoring her young granddaughter, because whatever her smartphone offered far exceeded anything the little girl could manage. The girl, no more than five, practically pleaded for Grandma’s attention before finally realizing the futility in her effort. The grandmother acknowledged the girl twice during the thirty-odd minutes they were in the restaurant. And both times, the woman hollered at the girl to quit pestering her.
Don’t get me wrong; technology has been amazing—especially for writers. It’s something of a miracle to be able to write a short article like this, and have it read by people all over the world with just a few keystrokes. But look at what’s been replaced by this technology. Social interaction is now mostly carried out over Facebook or Twitter or texting or any one of a dozen other social media sites. Very few of us actually sit down and write letters to friends and family anymore. Why bother when a text message is quicker and easier? Most schools here in the States don’t even bother teaching students proper handwriting. Cursive has been placed on the endangered species list. And books? Who has time to read books when there are video games, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and emails on which to catch up.
I’m not against technology; I use it daily. I just think we’ve lost something vital to being human beings. And the deeper we fall in with technology, the more likely we’ll never recover.