A Generation Of Idiots

What we’re seeing in society today lends credence to the old Einstein quote:

“I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots”.

Well, I can’t say I disagree. We allow ourselves to be distracted by little hand-held devices, putting our own lives in danger. Smart? Texting while driving, walking, eating, working. We call this ‘multi-tasking’ when in reality, it’s an avoidable risk. We sleep with our cell phones within arm’s distance. My gosh, what if someone tries to contact us while we’re sleeping?

Devices have our attention not only in the car and at home but in the workplace, at sporting events and other outings, at family functions and social events.

Every moment we spend with our head down is another moment we will never reclaim. To see the world around us, catch a child’s smile, the wagging of a dog’s tail, the approaching car in front of us as we cross the street. We are completely oblivious to what’s around us. We have chosen to blind ourselves to what’s coming straight at us. We just pay no attention. Sadly, to many, texting has become more important than life itself. I shudder to think how many (preventable) texting and cell phone related accidents have occurred in the last ten years. I’m sure those figures will never be released, with absolute certainty or honesty, so let’s all put on the rose-coloured glasses and pretend there’s nothing wrong.

I saw a young woman with a ball thrower, playing with her dog in the park. After she threw the ball, she got on her device. The dog returned for another throw and she struggled to get off the gadget to toss the ball. It’s not like those ball tossers are hard to work or take long to operate. It took her a few minutes just to take a few seconds to throw the ball.

So many of us pay more attention to our devices than the people we’re with and that is truly sad.

What form of logic has taught us that texting is more important than our own lives? We get behind the wheel of our car and decide we are such excellent drivers, assuming that all others around us are as well, that we could easily drive with our heads down, send and receive messages, check e-mail and search Google for a nearby restaurant. Relying on that incredible superpower we all have called “peripheral vision” to kick in when danger approaches, justifies it.

I survived just fine for 47 years without a device to guide me, think for me, tell me what Kim and Kanye did last week. I don’t need a GPS. I can read a map. It’s not rocket science. I can think for myself and K & K can kiss my ass. The drama of their lives ties right into the title of this blog anyway.

I can’t help but sometimes look at people on their devices, circling the sidewalks downtown, pacing, bumping into other people, talking loud enough for the person across the street to hear every word clearly. We’re smarter, are we?

“A generation of idiots.” Einstein wasn’t wrong. Look around.