{Speaking My Mind} A Plugged in Generation

Who talks with strangers on the buses today? You can't flirt with someone on a train if they are plugged into a two-hour shuffle of easy listening.

{Image: Day 32/365 – Plugged In by Tom Lin on Flickr}

Those among us who have an iPod, Macbook, iTouch, iPhone or iPad have surrendered our powers of concentration and free time to this cult, not to mention our personal data. An entire generation will only be able to walk into its future so long as Apple holds its hand. They will only be able to commune with each other via their devices and a shared experience will only be truly shared through Facebook or Digg. Who talks with strangers on the buses today? You can’t flirt with someone on a train if they are plugged into a two-hour shuffle of easy listening.

~Julian Lee, Sydney Morning Herald, August 31 2011.

Are we losing the art of actual coversation?

Or will our future be like that of the movie “Surrogates”, where we live in isolation and only interact through our surrogate robots?

I admit I have an iPod Shuffle.  The battery is flat because the Little Man borrowed it the other day.

I admit to spending too much time online.  But I’ve met some wonderful people and made some amazing friends.

I admit to engaging in a Poke War with my Daughter on Facebook.  And yes, I do reach over and physically poke her in the ribs from time to time instead.

I admit to hating my mobile phone.  It’s a glorified paper-weight.

But.

The CD player in the kitchen gets more use.  And as a family we sing and dance and challenge one another about song titles.

I still meet my friends for coffee regularly.  And we will spend as long as our schedules allow us, just catching up.

I don’t carry on a Poke War with anyone else.  Call me silly, but that’s reserved just for the Daughter.  And actual hugs from actual people are much better anyway.

I still have a land line.  And I use that to call my friends and family with.

I wonder… what would happen if the world unplugged?

Would we know what to do anymore?

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