Monday, April 3, 2017

Addictions & Other Weird Behaviors


As I go about my business working out at my local Y, I cannot help but notice what I have begun to regard as yet another form of addiction. No, not coke, or acid—smartie phones.  But, I think, it is not the phones per se, but rather what smartie phones provide in the way of access to a world of chatter—Facebook, LinkdIn, SnapChat, Twitter, et al.  I use Facebook, so I am aware that Millennials and likely 30-somethings, largely avoid Facebook. So, that social medium is turning slowly into a place where the elder sets go to exchange viewpoints.  But it matters not which medium causes the addiction. They all seem vaguely addictive.

But, back to the Y. What I notice with growing frequency are both dudes and dudettes, sitting on some workout bench or piece of equipment, staring at their phone. It seems clear they aren’t just listening to music, but rather they are staring at the screen, I assume because they are viewing some Facebook-like screen informing them that their BFF is now working out at the Y, or drinking beer at some pub, or driving to wherever. And, so I maneuver around them. The practice is so common, that I have begun counting. It is not uncommon that I will complete 4-6 workout machines before the dude will return to his workout and stop staring.

And it makes me wonder, why on earth did you get up this early to come to the Y, so that you could stare at your phone for 30 of your allotted 60 minute workout?  Why not just stay in bed and stare at your phone from a reclining position? Because I am able to simply move around the dudes, on to other machines, my own workout remains largely uninterrupted, although on occasion I have simply given up on a machine for that workout.  So, it is more a sense of amazement than annoyance that I am driven to wonder about this strange behavior.

And it makes me wonder even more about these same folks’ behavior, once they leave the Y and climb into their cars. Do they remain fixated on their phones?  We know that some do, since they can be observed operating/staring at their phones while driving.  And here I begin to hope for driverless cars in our near future.  Could they possibly be any worse than addicted drivers who are so distracted that they are unaware of things like red stop lights, or pedestrians in crosswalks? Seems unlikely.

And then it makes me wonder about the bizarre behavior of President Stupidhead, and his Twitterati world. Is that behavior similarly an addiction? I have assumed that his twitter behavior was simply a reflection of the fact that he cannot read or write anything beyond 140 characters. So, this is his means of communicating with his adoring Minions, since neither is able to communicate in English.  Just a thought.

So, how long do you think we all have on this here Planet Earth? If folks are slowly but surely becoming addicted to staring at little machines instead of working, and if our Leader communicates only to his Minions in DumbTalk, how long will it take for something calamitous to occur that ends everything?

Maybe that’s why I can no longer sleep beyond 4-5 hours a day. Hmmm . . .
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