Rule by gizmo
We live in an in-your-face world. We live in isolation. Social media has allowed us to be bold and brazen with our fingertips – to mouth-off – to gather our courage from our sofas. Every man, woman and child is an island. We cling to our e-devices and fool ourselves into thinking that we are socially more engaged than ever before.
We’re not. We’re consumed by gizmos. We’ve been chewed and swallowed. And we’re socially disengaged.
Well, OK, on one hand we are engaged by way of keypad and touchscreen. On the other hand, we have become so adept at it that we don’t see any real reason for forming words with our lips. But when they must form words, our teenagers are more in-your-face, more abrupt and abrasive, than ever before. When confronted with a public appearance, they interact as if they’re still on the sofa at home. Bang! Bop! Wham! (Reminds us of the old Batman TV show.) Fast. Efficient. Rude.
Our e-devices have permitted us to communicate by syllables, acronyms and two-letter words. Let’s not forget the heart-warming :). All we can say is YKS! WWJD! SOS! WTF!
The day the
earth stood silent
Invite your teenager to hold a moratorium on e-device use for just one day. You, too. Let’s just try it and see if it’s a day the earth stood still … if the body snatchers emerge from their cocoons and take over. We can hear Rod Serling already. Remember him?
“You’re standing among a civilization that is frozen in time. They put down their e-toys, and suddenly they found themselves devoid of words and thoughts. Their minds were left on miniature screens that lie on desks, reside in pockets or are suspended from waists. What was once a thriving society, with office chatter around the water cooler and over the backyard fence, has devolved into scrawls and scrolls on glass plates. This once conversant civilization no longer talks or turns the pages of books or newspapers. Their gods reside in cyberspace. They have erected e-idols and now stand idle … in a distant app called the Twilight Zone.”
Yes, we know. Silly. Crazy. Outrageous. LOL.
Tom Tozer and Bill Black are authors of “Dads2Dads: Tools for Raising Teenagers.” Like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter @dads2dadsllc. Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.