A few years ago while I watched my nephew tightly gripping his Game Boy about six inches from his face, completely oblivious to his surroundings, I was alarmed by what looked to me like a sure method of de-socializing a child. Television and the Nintendo had taken on a new, much more intense contender.
This was long before one could golf, bowl, kick a soccer ball, surf, skateboard and participate in several other sports, just by standing in front of a television, at home….alone. Wii was to be the shocking wave of the future.
Telephone texting has robbed people of real conversation and even developed “predictive” mode to increase the speed one can talk.
As much as I have found these activities annoying, I will confess that beyond the irritation, I am profoundly alarmed.
We don’t see as much of this behavior in Mexico, perhaps due to a less materialistic approach to living and lower economic levels all across the board.
I’ll be returning to the US soon, where I'll need to adjust to the lack of good manners, of which I've become accustomed. Strangers greet one another on the street, with few exceptions. Sneeze in the grocery aisle and you are likely to be saluted with a blessing to your health by someone hidden by a row of cereal boxes. Children and babies are touched, patted and fondled by waiters, grocery clerks, bankers, receptionists, and countless other unfamiliar persons. Kissing upon greeting is not just acceptable, but expected. Hand shaking is an art form.
Last night, a friend returning from the states exclaimed how people no longer are hugging, shaking hands or kissing. The air kiss/hug/hand shake is being promoted on the six o’ clock news, in schools, offices and even homes, amongst relatives, as well as acquaintances. This, due to the swine flu.
Soon we can simply stay at home, have food delivered, sit in front of the computer or stand in front of the television screen. We can eliminate all human contact by texting; webcamming; playing Wii sports; chess, dominoes, Scrabble, etc online. We can do away with touching, hugging, kissing.
Eventually we will have little or no need for one another. Even babies can be made in a petri dish.
Thanks for reading.