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The great irony: ‘Anti-social networking’

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POSTED: October 9, 2012 3:00 p.m.

The world of gadgetry is incredible these days. It seems that every other commercial on television has to do with new and improved cell phones.

Cell phones do things today that just a few years ago would have been deemed science fiction. You can watch a video and send a text at the same time. I don’t know why you would want to do that, but there must have been a reason.

People get so caught up in this high-tech phenomenon that they will camp out in line at the store to buy the latest version. I, on the other hand, am much like comedian Ron White. I don’t even like to camp when I’m camping.

Now I see a lot of practical application for many of these devices. And then I see some people, who probably couldn’t figure gas mileage, trying to hold up their pants and operate a cell phone at the same time. Life is full of such irony.

Speaking of irony, the constant Twittering, texting and Facebooking is referred to as “social networking.” I have observed people doing this while sitting at dinner in the midst of what allegedly would have been a conversation. So wouldn’t that be classified as “anti-social networking?”

An analyst recently said that about 90 percent of the American public now has a cell phone and they appear to be on them 90 percent of the time. It was his theory that the ability to converse while actually looking at someone is on the decline. He said we are becoming much more comfortable with technology between us as opposed to actually saying words to one another and making eye contact.

Recently I went into a restroom at a restaurant and two men were standing there texting. I don’t know what the odds were that they might have been texting each other. I thought to myself, “How poetic! We now have electric-eye automatic flushing toilets and urinals so your hands are free to text. What a concept!” My guess is the inventors of these two innovations had no idea of the other’s intentions. Just a matter of technological coincidence that went hand in hand.

In my lifetime, we have come so far from that outhouse and the Sears and Roebuck catalog. Not only can one sit upon the porcelain throne in centrally heated comfort, but he can watch a video demonstrating that light-weight, auto-loading shotgun of his dreams.

I once said I had no need of a cell phone. Now I feel naked if I don’t have one hung to my belt. It does make my life much easier in some respects. The number of emergencies I must respond to have increased exponentially, but by the same token I can handle many of them without missing the ball game.

One fellow told me he only carried a cell phone for emergencies. Yet as he walked away, I saw him reach for his phone and overheard something about stopping at the grocery store on his way home. Well, when it comes to groceries, I guess that could be considered an emergency.

On one those survivor shows the other night, Cody Lundin and Dave Canterberry used the battery from a cell phone and some steel wool to start a fire.

But being an outdoorsman and having learned many survival skills, I’ve never come upon steel wool just lying around out in the wilderness. The chances of a tornado having blown a general store in that direction would be very remote, I would think.

But most cell phones now have cameras. So you could take a picture of the grizzly so maybe the people who find your remains will know what happened. See what I mean by practical application?

Dwain Walden is edtior/publisher of The Moultrie Observer.

 

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