The Life of Riley: Degradation of Society’s Mores

First, I will go on record that I do not have a cellular phone; I do not have a smart phone. That gives me a unique point of view. Many people say I need a cellular phone and tell me I’d enjoy a smart phone. I would always be connected and would be able to surf the net from anywhere.

I maintain if someone wants to reach me, they will. As far as a smart phone, I can surf the net from my house, or other land based computer. When I am out in public, I go out to interact with people, not to hide in a crowd behind a mini computer.

Kids, of grade school age go to social events. Events where they can interact with other kids to play and exercise. Many of them are sitting alone, playing with their electronic devices. I guess, one way or another, it is preparing them for their lifetime social interactions.

At restaurants I’ve seen whole tables of people sitting together, but never saying a word. Just texting. At meetings I’ve seen spectators, as well as participants checking their phones – when I felt the participants should be paying attention, and, wondering why the texting spectators bothered to attend the meeting.

Then there was the driver who pulled up to the bank drive-up window, talking on the phone. With a line of cars waiting, the driver held up a finger to the teller to just wait till the conversation was over, and, what a revoltin’ development that is!

Once there was woman in front of me at the IGA that went through the door talking on her phone. Every time I saw her she was talking, not caring who she might be disturbing. When I checked out, she was in the other line, still talking away.

I liked the recent picture of facebook, where all the young people at the beach were just sitting on the sand – texting! When I was in Florida I saw similar activities.

Jerry Riley comments for the News Bulletin. He is a retired telecommunications supervisor.