Not long ago, my wife and I stopped at a local produce market to make a purchase. While waiting in the car, I watched two high school-aged people straightening up a a display of various bedding plants and vegetable flats. One of the teenagers was clutching the latest 4-by-6-inch electronic apparatus. The free hand was doing what might loosely be considered work, while nervously glancing at the screen every few seconds. This young person could not bear the possibility of being incommunicado for even a few seconds.
By now, we have all laughed at the pratfalls of hopelessly distracted people who walked off docks, into doors, into traffic and so on. For those unfortunate enough to meet their end due to their distraction, natural selection has always been the best arbiter for the advancement of a species. Many of those addicted to the umbilical cord of Verizon would not know if the world was on fire unless they received a Twitter feed. Even the economically disadvantaged manage to find the resources to maintain their connection to the cyber universe.
I’m reasonably certain this electronic curse is a leading contributor to the dumbing of America. Not too long ago we were mainly concerned about being killed by a drunk driver. Move over, Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, we now must deal with the opiate of the masses, social media, distracted drivers and flash mobs.
Aldous Huxley was prophetic. Welcome to the “Brave New World.”
Michael R. Sweeney