The other day, I just happened to be in one of our prestigious retailers and my phone rang, so I answered it. It was one of our kids filling us in on the latest news about grandchildren, birthdays and not to forget the presents. Anyway, I noticed some high school-aged children staring at me and I asked, "You need something?"
"Well, yes sir. Where did you get that little cell phone? What does it do?" "What does it do? It's a phone." "We know it's a phone, but does it take pictures, show movies, play music, GPS, texting, apps, stuff like that?" I said, "It's a phone. That's all it is, and that's all it does."
Julie and I recently ran down to Florida for a very fast weekend with the family. We asked Jen and Dan if there was a Chevron station close so I could fill up the tank. They told us there were plenty of stations around — no Chevrons in the area — but they all take a debit card. We admitted we didn't use one. Their mouths dropped open and they asked, "You don't have a debit card? What do you use?"
We told them it would be either cash or check, and they looked as us as though we were insane.
As we were driving back home, Julie said, "Doofus, it may be time that we get into the 21st century. We may be aging — which we can't help — but we don't have to advertise."
For what it's worth, we now have spanking new phones that we have no idea how to use and still have to have a prompter to show us how to answer a call.
While I believe that advanced technology is not only necessary for science and instantaneous communication, I also believe that all the electronic devices are beginning to take away one of our most important social abilities, and that is to be able to have a meaningful conversation with another human being, face to face. I have watched too many students so attached to their electronic gizmos that they are completely unaware of the world that revolves around them.
I also believe that too many rely on devices that give more propaganda than truth, more opinion than fact and more mind-numbing reality shows than informative programming. We are rapidly moving into the realm of a dystopia, where individuality and total privacy takes precedence over inclusion and involvement with others.
I just happened to open the Tampa Bay Times' Sunday edition and its great comic section. Here was a neat comic called, "Wumo." A very old bearded man, dressed like a teenager sitting in front of a computer, stared out in a very vacant expression. Here's the caption. "At age 88, it occurred to Josh that he'd read all the comic books, played all the video games, seen all the movies and all the TV shows, but was yet to actually have a life." I suppose his definition of a life would be that he'd never held on to friends, never left his little room, never experienced a real world, never had any memories of what was or even what could have been. How sad!
The very first sentence of the Bible reads, "In the beginning God..." As we continue reading these magnificent words, we understand that God took that primordial chaos, created a world that would have cosmos, order and placed humankind above all creatures and ordained humankind to be responsible caretakers. My question, "How in the world can we be caretakers and sit on our behinds, playing games and remain in isolation while the rest of humanity reaches out for help that doesn't listen, doesn't care and will not respond?"
God, help us to put away childish things, realize our potential, experience reality and take care of your children who just happen to be our neighbors.