Sunday, September 2, 2012

I told you never to call me here.

There seems to be no end of ways to separate us from the things we need to do. Priorities have shifted in life, and I don't think for the better.

I see people walking with their heads down, typing away on a handheld device, oblivious to their surroundings.  They have the nerve to look shocked when they realize that they are face-to-face with someone walking in the other direction.  I will not alter my gait to suit them.

I'm not sure about other states, but in New Jersey, drivers are required to turn on their headlights when it is raining.  It's one of those visibility things.  Our inspection stickers used to have a message on the back that said "WIPERS ON, LIGHTS ON."  I think the subtlety was lost on most drivers, as I still see at least one in five cars driving around without their headlights on.

That poetic, yet stern warning was replaced recently.  With the advent of cellular communications (I will not call them cell phones, because a telephone appears to be the least of its functionality) we now have devolved to the "PUT THE PHONE DOWN" warning.  I don't think drivers can see the warning over their steering wheel, especially since many of them are dialing the phone or sending a text.  We can only do a few things at a time.

It is to the stage that many drivers feel it is their right (even though driving is a privilege, not a right) to use their devices while they are driving.  When they are told to "hang up and drive," one of their fingers is waved in the air and they get indignant.

I see the device slaves wandering the streets and driving around and I wonder what part of their lives they have replaced with this obsession to their "phone."  Who are they talking to?  Are all of those conversations necessary?  Is it necessary to be constantly entertained and occupied?  Have we gotten to the point that the stimulation is now part of our daily lives or is it merely an obsession with something new?  Are we really better off now than when we had to wait to get home to see if we had any phone messages, write a letter or find a public telephone? I sure ask a lot of questions.

Talk amongst yourselves.  But please, do it at home. I'm tired of having you walk into me and watching you drive with one eye.

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