“Only When You Rip It From My Cold, Dead Hands!”

Melvin Twigg Mason

For such a well-connected world that we live in, it amazes me how greatly DISconnected we truly are!

”Why is it SOOO important to have your cell phone in your hands at all times?” I asked this of my teen-aged nieces & nephews recently. They told me it’s to stay connected to what’s going on with their friends during the day. They post pictures, portray their emotions-of-the-moment, share a joke (or the latest gossip), all in the name of “connectedness.” And yet, if I asked them when was the last time they actually, physically TALKED with these friends or spent time with them outside of school, they’d probably say “last week” or “I don’t know” (IDK, 4 those of U who r in the kno).

BUT, I DARE YOU to try to take their cell phone, iPad or other “connecting” gadgets from them (or even try!)  in order to do some other form of keeping in touch, say. . .a house visit. You’d have better luck separating a mama bear from her cubs!

For all of their “connectedness,” our recent generations seem to be very distant from reality, their heads bowed deep into some clear-the-jewels or vigilante shootout game; or worse yet, sending a sext message or fight videos to their close friends.

Rather than pursuing their dreams in real life they’re living out the fantasy of looking better than their peers and/or blowing away their rivals. After all, it’s nothing personal, right? It doesn’t even hurt really (not them anyway). And it’s a great sense of accomplishment, just like at the end of a video game round.

Whatever happened to actually calling someone and talking to them on a phone (if not in person)?? Somehow the original purpose of telephones has been lost to Millennials, and in many cases, their Gen-X parents as well! I’m sure you’ve heard the recent joke (taken from a true story!) of the kid who was told to get his siblings to the table for dinner. He proceeded to text the announcement to his sister. . . who was just in the next room!

I propose that, perhaps, if our young people were challenged to spend more face-time with others (and I don’t mean the app!) getting to know them up close and personal, the chances of them seeing people as actual living beings with responsibilities & emotions would be substantially increased. The words, “my fellow man” would take on greater meaning. And maybe, just maybe, we’d see a lot less repeats of Santa Clarita & New Town in the headlines.

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