Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

June 9, 2010

Kids may not be the worst with cell phones

Confessions of a Dislocated Texan

Ezra Mann
Pauls Valley Daily Democrat

Pauls Valley — If you step away from the individual failings of society you may notice that the biggest problem with society is that we have too many problems. Then again that vague idea can sit on the eternal backburner and perhaps we can at least work on the fact that too many of us try to force a solution that is doomed for failure.

Case in point, the increasingly worn argument that children are far too involved with their cell phones. Even I have caught myself saying “when I was their age cell phones were a radiation leaking brick and we still called grandma long distance at home.” Yet, the more I observe my fellow “adults” the more I think that maybe in the age of digital domination maybe age isn’t coming with more wisdom.

I almost wish I could find a more perfect example of technological misuse than my family, and I could, but sometimes hilarity comes no closer than home. I speak of course, of my dear worry wart of a mother.

It’s not that she treats it like some strange alien device like my dad has always done with a computer (though apparently aliens like solitaire), since she’s had plenty of time to get used to the handheld innovations over the years. No, she was actually one of the most responsible cell phone users I had known, until the middle brother opened up the gates of the hell that is texting. You think teenagers are bad, try holding a conversation where you can finish a thought while she asks you all the questions she’s forgotten in the past 25 years from the days of voice only.

As adults of the older generations have caught up with kids who can’t put down their app laden devices, it’s created a perfect storm of micro sentence overload. Perhaps I knew the end of civilization was near when my mom started cutely abbreviating words as if she were 13 and hopped up on Hannah Montana.

This has led me to the conclusion that we should not necessarily keep children from abusing these communication tools, but anyone over the age of 30. Let’s face it, the future is bleak enough and instead of wasting our time trying to keep little Suzy from yakking it up with her BFF 4-Evar, we’ll just let the talkpocalypse occur and then burn the darn things after their 29th birthday. Trust me, no one wants to be like the music industry who tried to prevent kids from downloading instead of working with them.

In fact, I think that the moment I reach that age so feared by 20-somethings, I will just have all of my messages delivered by beagle. To make this work I’ll just ask the person receiving my message to attach a rabbit to their leg and send the dog off.

I think this idea makes perfect sense and pretty much can guarantee that if I looked hard enough I could find a politician to get the no old folks on cell bill passed in no time. Heck, I bet one of those guys from Tulsa would pass it as some kind of budget saving measure. That is if I can get past the army of FCC guys paid off to ignore paying customers.