Are we a generation of idiots, smartphones and dumb people?

Remember those days before the world wide web, before social media when we were… well, actually social. We could sit in the same room with someone and chat with them in person rather than via Facebook or Twitter?

I appreciate social media and Skype, living here in the East Neuk of Fife which St Rule regarded as the western ends of the world. It helps me keep in touch, which is better than nothing. But I do love getting together with my friends in real life, which doesn’t happen as much as I’d like.

During this extended period of recuperation from viral meningitis, I have loved spending more time with Jane, Reuben, Joshua and Isaac. Long may that continue.

While I don’t think we’re a generation of idiots, I do think we need to put down our phones a little more often, step out from behind our computer monitors, and engage with the world face-to-face.

And maybe then rush home and micro-blog about it!

Published by

Gareth Saunders

I’m Gareth J M Saunders, 52 years old, 6′ 4″, father of 3 boys (including twins). Enneagram type FOUR and introvert (INFP), I am a non-stipendiary priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, I sing with the NYCGB alumni choir, play guitar, play mahjong, write, draw and laugh… Scrum master at Safeguard Global; latterly at Sky and Vision/Cegedim. Former web architect and agile project manager at the University of St Andrews and previously warden at Agnes Blackadder Hall.

2 thoughts on “Are we a generation of idiots, smartphones and dumb people?”

  1. While I doss around too much on the Internet, I don’t really think that people talked much to strangers on commuter trains before smartphones. They read books or the news or had their headphones in on their Sony Walkmans. Which is not really much different, except that all three can be done on the same device.

    And kids in my experience will play for a bit on an iPad or something, and then want to go out and play in the park.

    If it wasn’t for the Internet, I wouldn’t have met all our wonderful mutual friends, or know you exist. I wouldn’t have received an email from one of those friends telling me about a drama school audition, and I wouldn’t have had the confidence those wonderful friends helped me find, to actually go to a drama school audition. Without having my smartphone on my yesterday, I wouldn’t have known not to go out for drinks after a rehearsal, because my agent had emailed me to tell me about an audition I have today that I needed to go home and prepare for.

    Oh and ten years ago, I wouldn’t have received a welcome bar of Canadian chocolate whilst living in a village in the middle of Tanzania, from a friend I made on a writing website.

    And without the Internet I wouldn’t have met the woman of my dreams a little over seven months ago and get to wake up next to her every morning.

    So yeah. Internet & Smartphones = Awesome. Because of the possibilities they present, and the things they help happen.

    It is nice to go connection free from time to time though.

  2. it is not impossible for people to mitigate some of the down side of incessant devicing, its just that we are not motivated to, because of the “path of least resistance”. that could be damaging to our socializing expertise.

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