Monday, 18 March 2013

Addicted: Twitter has become my life source

Every other Sunday, my daughter and her fiancee come over for dinner and a movie.
The fact that these youngins want to spend time with the old farts fills my heart with warmth and great joy. We try to make these encounters special. Scott slaves over a hot stove or barbecue and presents mounds of tasty morsels while the rest of us try to pick a movie Marissa and Jeff haven't seen.
Afterwards, they bundle up leftovers for Monday's lunch.
Sounds old fashioned, right?
Let's stop action for a moment and let me demonstrate what really happens.
Marissa and Jeff arrive and are mauled by Finnigan while Sophie scrapes unwanted skin cells from Marissa's shins. They plop themselves on the leather section and whip out their Smartphones which ding and howl every ten seconds.
Dinner is eaten on their laps between tweets and instant messages, their eyelines rarely straying from their devices.
Kids, right?
Not so fast.
This weekend, we invited a pair of elderly friends over for drinks and dinner. We sat at the table and chattered about many topics. But every once in a while, they would startle and jump when my phone went off. Instead of turning off the pesky device, I checked my messages incessantly.
Ditto for Scott.
Neither of these friends own a Smart Phone, or a computer for that matter.
Looking back, I realize how rude we were to them. And how addicted we have become to our devices.
Our weekends are spent going from station to station. In the morning, I head for my Smart Phone to check my messages from Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin. Then I go to my computer and troll the various sites for news and commentary. I rarely look at the paper now. It's just so out of date.
If it isn't reported within seconds of happening, it isn't news anymore.
Twitter has become the centre of my news universe.
On a relaxing day, when there is nothing to do but laundry, I find myself glued to my electronics. When I'm not checking my messages, I'm playing video games or watching YouTube videos.
Yesterday, Scott had to pry me away from my Mario game to get groceries.
This addiction is really getting out of control.
My brain is over-stimulated and I'm finding myself actually playing video games in my head instead of counting sheep. I haven't read a physical book in months.
And I'm old. Imagine what it's like living in the brain of a twentysomething.
Imagine what their brains will be like when they're my age.
I'm not sure there's anything I can do to change this.
And frankly, I don't think I want to.
The SmartPhone has become my life source.
The false idol I worship.
Hopefully spring will change this.
I doubt it.
Hey, I have wireless.
I can tweet from the backyard.

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