Connected

I do think social media is a great way to keep up with old friends and acquaintances, in moderation.

Being “connected” seems to be all the rage, and as I move through life, I’m finding more and more folks being online at the time.

I really wish they would stop, especially when I’m actually trying to walk somewhere and have to dodge around physically capable people moving slower than old folks with walkers. What’s so darn important on that tiny screen that it can’t wait? For the record, although obviously I’d providing basic first aid and/or calling 911 when you walk off that wall or get hit by the car,  don’t expect sympathy, okay?

More to the point, what ya’ll are missing is the truth that it’s actually me who’s connected, not you. I’m aware of the actual world around me, and am noticing things around me, whether it’s a cool flying insect I don’t recognize, clouds moving in layers, an unusual flower, the smells of nearby restaurants and neighborhood cookouts, or even my fellow human beings; the cute romance of a young couple, the parental bond between adults and young ones, or the funky style of someone self confident enough to go their own way.

Yes, the cat and dog videos are cute, but after the first twenty or so … really?

I think the cultural shift may go even deeper. When I was in my forties, there was a lot of concern about staying employable beyond due to age related changes and bias.  I don’t worry anymore, because the way many young folks are being raised, they’re not being provided the opportunity to learn how to focus on one thing for extended periods of time; it’s well understand that people multitasking 1 is a myth. When it comes to focus on one thing, if you a typical under 40 something, I’m going to kick your ass.

So put the damn device away and focus on the here and now. Or maybe just get out of the way instead of continuing your slow, drunken sailor walk down that hallway.


1 On the other hand, computers are wired to do context switches very well, so it’s fine to make them multitask.