You see them particularly at trains and at railway stations.
A generation of young people, heads bowed, staring fixedly at something held in their hands, seemingly totally oblivious to the world around them. As a confirmed technophobe, I find myself wondering what it is that commands such enraptured attention.
Then I am told, by those more enlightened than myself, that it is a ‘tablet’.
When I was a youngster, a tablet was something you took with a glass of water.
In fact, what I was witnessing was the ‘cyber-generation’ at work.
A whole generation of young people addicted to communication via the so-called ‘social media’.
Essential ‘text messages’ are transmitted through the ether at the speed of light to friends, relatives, acquaintances and even those who lurk furtively within the depths of cyber outer space.
In my view, this is not healthy. This form of robotic communication represents a denial of normal face-to-face human interation.
A few individuals have made huge fortunes for themselves out of Facebook and Twitter, and all the other media-active sites.
But in so doing, they have imposed upon millions of young people a technological tyranny, a fantastical array of wholly unnecessary technological gizmos.
Those of an older generation may well remember the TV advert featuring Strand ‘firesticks’: “You’re never alone with a Strand.” Today, that may be read as: “You’re never alone with a gizmo.”
Whether it be tablets, mobile phones, laptops, Blackberrys, Yahoo!, Facebook or whatever takes your fancy, the retreat into electronic discourse is a new and peculiar aspect of the social ‘millieu’.
Rope Walk Littlehampton
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