are people really that lazy and self-absorbed?

yes.  yes, they are.

do not get me wrong.  i do not dislike technology.  i do not dislike communication.  i do not dislike people.  i am not old-fashioned.

well, mostly.

but too many people’s need to be in near-constant communication with anyone who will listen is a bit much.  especially when it puts the safety of those around them at risk.  i am not going to recite statistics, but FAR TOO MANY accidents are cause by people on mobile communication devices.  and every one of them says that they are not distracted and not the cause.  bull.

as someone who walks and/or rides his bike pretty much everywhere he goes, and just spends a fair amount of time observing people and their actions, i tend to notice what is going on around me far more than the average person.  i see how distracted you are while trying to simultaneously drive, talk/text, eat, drink, apply makeup, read, and whatever else not only behind the wheel of a vehicle, but even just out walking around.

one alarming trend that i notice far too much is the parent that might physically be out with their kid(s), but their mind is completely somewhere else.  too often i see mom pushing a stroller or walking behind her razor-riding son and not only is she pretty much ignoring the kid(s), but she tends to be so engrossed in whatever conversation she is having that the kid could ride off the curb into in-coming traffic and she just might not notice.  two days ago i saw a mom pushing a stroller while her son was riding his bike ahead on the sidewalk.  not only was she typing away on her phone, but she also had headphones in.  so not only was she not looking at her kids at all, but she was not listening, and more importantly, not talking to her kids.  at.  all.

it is even worse at restaurants and i would assume just as bad at the home dinner table.  being a server, i wait on a lot of families.  if you can call them that.  it tends to be a group of related individuals sitting in close proximity to each other all while enclosed in their own little worlds of table-side facebook, video games, emails, and on-line shopping.  trying to coax an order out of a kid who has his face buried in an iPhone or hand-held video game is not easy.  and the ‘parents’ are not much help since they are just as bad.  too many parents would rather just hand their kid a distraction rather than be an actual parent.  as someone who has no kids, i may not have an argument here, but that is no way to raise a kid.  how do i know?  because that is not how i was raised and i like to think i am a well-adjusted person with a loving family who grew up with parents and grandparents that not only were there for me, but engaging and encouraging.  there was no constant eating out.  there was no television at the dinner table.  all family members were at the table to eat and talk about their day.

but with the advent of so many distractions and parents who just seem to care less and less (why even bother having kids in the first place?) family dinners are going the way of the dinosaur.

and please do not get me started on distracted drivers.  please.

just put the phone down for a few minutes while you drive your car a quarter-mile to go buy a soda or your bag of fast-food.  are you really that important that you think someone out there does not need to know about your every thought at all times.  just know that i share the roadway with you and far too many times have to dodge you while you try to handle your phone and the steering wheel at the same time.  there are anti-texting/anti-hand-held phone laws while driving for a reason.  this is not just big brother trying to control you.  the safety of those around you (and even you) is at risk.  so please, put the phone down while driving.

and to those who just wander around aimlessly while talking loudly on the phone, you look like idiots.  when you constantly (nearly) run into people while your nose is buried in a text, you might want to put the phone away and look where you are walking.  i wonder how many people have just walked right off of the sidewalk and into traffic and have gotten (nearly) hit while typing away on their blackberry.  and this is not just a young person trend.

and to those who walk/jog while either wearing headphones or are constantly on your phone – just leave them at home.  if you cannot jog for fifteen (15) minutes without some distraction in your ears or think that you are so important that you might miss a call/text if you do not have your phone in your hands constantly (i was going to say if you leave your phone at home, but even i realise that having access to a phone can be life-saving.  just ask mark babcock), think again.  it still amazes me how many people i say ‘hi’ to as i pass them on the sidewalk or out on the trails that are so engrossed that they do not even hear/see you.  why would you want to be so closed-off that you cannot hear those around you or do not get to experience the sound of a deer crashing through the woods while out on a walk.

oh man, to be an ear doctor.  those guys are going to be so necessary in a few short years.  why do people turn their in-ear headphones up so loud?!  if i can hear your music from fifteen (15) feet away, i can only imagine what it is doing to your hearing.

you are not on this planet alone.  you share it with billions of other people.  take the time to acknowledge those around you.  engage people.  be available.  come out of your own little world.  pay attention to your kids.

(this got a bit sloppy as my writings tend to do.  since i do not like to edit, this is what you get.  but you get the idea.  besides, this is just for fun.)