Thanksgiving is a great time of the year for spending time with family and friends. I’ve never understood why turkey is only eaten on holidays, but I guess it’s just tradition. For example, every Thanksgiving the President pardons a turkey as a gesture of goodwill or something. In Obama’s case his pardon was a gesture of professional courtesy.
Gayle and I just returned from staying with my daughter Shannon in the house she and husband Steve just bought with an extra bedroom for us. Being centrally located, we were able to spend a lot of time with our family, the importance of which can’t be overstated. Many of our trips to civilization are too quick and frantic, trying to see our expanding family and many friends, but this trip was an exception.
There’s always cultural shock when entering the Bay Area and dealing with the persistent symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder upon returning home. But what struck me this time was the fact that everyone, especially the younger generation, is on a cell phone. I mean everyone. Even my own flesh and blood.
Our grandkids have thumbs that move faster than a. nervous chipmunk. Teenagers are known to text each other while sitting across the table from each other. Face to face communication has been replaced by isolated electronic communication. So far I haven’t seen two kids using their laptops with cameras to see each other on the screen while sitting across from each other, but it will happen.
I would like to outlaw all cell phones. We can’t get reception where we live, so that may color my reaction to hyperkinetic thumbs. It’s a leap from smoke signals in
to the magic hand-held devices
used by yuppies and even baby yuppies. My 2 year old granddaughter joined
everyone in the room staring at one of those things while I stared at a
football game on TV. I may become a missionary
to spread the word that there is a big world outside of a demonic cell phone,
iPad, smart phone, or whatever they are. Plumas County
John Chaffin and I took my grandson, Gabriel, 13, to
his first football game where San Jose
State, my alma mater, upset Fresno in a big game at
Spartan Stadium. I made a rule that Gabe
could not use his cell phone during the game, which must have been like going
through detox, but he’s a great kid and was soon yelling with the rest of the
crowd. That’s when I decided to go to the mission field and drive out the
demons in those hand-held devices.
Fisher-Price has a new product called the Apptivity Seat, a child's seat for newborns on up to toddlers with an iPad mount. New research has found that more than half of gadget owners worldwide admit to suffering anxiety when they can’t use their smart phones and being without them was as stressful as a trip to the dentist or even their wedding day. They call it “technology addiction.” There is treatment now for this addiction with a significant number of people hooked. My solution is to take the addicts to a football game.
We’ve now returned to the land of smoke signals and Gayle is whistling along with Christmas music while changing the decorations from fall to Christmas. She loves that stuff.
Since Gayle was born on Christmas day it took the first year of our marriage to convince her that all the pretty lights and celebrations weren’t for her birthday. I told her that there were no mangers in
when she was born, camels are in the zoo, and if there were three wise guys
hanging around with packages they were most likely Mafioso. She still runs
outside Christmas Eve looking for the star.
Now there’s a real challenge for me.