cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
Our flow of information seems occasionally something like trying to take a drink from a fire hose. If we are not careful, we can be overwhelmed by information, both good information and not-so-good information. The pace at which we are faced with new information has never been greater and yet we seek more and more. We thrive on having the fastest tablet or 4G phone or computer. We must constantly be ‘connected’ for fear that someone else will have more or better information than us.
We splatter all kinds of personal information across the spectrum of social media almost without thought to our own privacy. I know more about more people than I ever thought I’d know and, frankly, it doesn’t do me any real good. True, some postings might bring a smile to my face, and it is good to know that friends or acquaintances are well or successful or whatever.
I think about where I was as a kid of ten or fifteen, and I contrast that with where ten or fifteen-year-olds are today. If I wanted to be connected, I had to walk or ride my bike to a friend’s house…or even take the ‘extreme’ step of making a telephone call to his or her house. I watch today as kids that age are always glancing at the screen on their tablet or 4G phone reading the latest text message that has just announced its arrival. I listen as groups of young people exchange the latest about technology upgrades.
I was having breakfast with a group of men my age or a bit younger or even quite a bit younger last Friday and we found ourselves talking about playing ‘marbles’ of all things. We talked about “cat’s eye” marbles and steel “shooters” and how we would win or lose marbles while we knelt around a circle drawn in the dirt and flick our shooters with our thumbs into the marbles in the circle hoping to knock one or more outside the circle so they became ours.
We have made immense progress as a society, but we have also lost some of the charm of earlier times in the process. I’m sure every generation goes through this realization to one or another degree but I find myself wondering what our emerging generation will talk about when it gets to this age. I won’t likely be around to find out, and that is probably a blessing since I wouldn’t understand what they were talking about anyway.
I hope that we don’t gradually lose our ability to have good old-fashioned face-to-face conversations…but the electronic device has served so far as a good barrier to the face-to-face talk. Not all ‘progress’ is necessarily good, I fear.