Monday, June 2, 2014

Feeling Iffy about Technology and Future Generations

 I arrived at the doctor’s office early to fill out paperwork and wondered how many times in my life I have written my name and address on paperwork.  Sheesh!

A young woman in the latest spring fashions with her hair streaked and styled in an A-line cut entered the office with her cute blonde-haired five-year-old.  They took seats across the crowded room, and I went back to repeatedly writing my name.

A few minutes later, I stood up to take the clipboard back to the front desk.  The young woman, cell phone to her ear, and her son waited at the desk.  An older gentleman stood in line behind them, so I joined the line and leaned against a partial wall to wait.  The little boy’s eyes grew wide.  He dashed back to where he and his mom had been sitting and hefted her large purse into his arms.  He could barely walk with the overfilled bag and tettered on his feet as he proudly lifted it up to her.

“Mommy, you fa got purse,” he said, smiling up at her.

The young mother turned slightly, phone still to her ear and growled, “I don’t need that.”

She turned away before she could see the sparkle leave his eyes and his deflated posture.  Her words literally crushed the little boy.  I couldn’t believe it.  I stared and watched, not able to speak, feeling a sour weakness spread through my stomach. 

The little boy had been so proud of himself.  At such a young age, he had been looking out for his mother and wanted her praise.  In four little words, she had stomped him down.  I thought of my adult autistic son and his inability to think of anyone beyond himself.  Didn’t she know how lucky she was?

The boy dropped the heavy bag to the floor with such a look of hurt and disappointment. Did she even realize the opportunity she had missed?  She had given up a perfectly good teaching/bonding opportunity to praise her son for thinking of others in order to play on her phone.  Should I say something?  How would she react?  On more than one occasion, I'd had people turn on me and cause a scene.  Did I want one in the doctor's office?  

The young mom finished at the desk, as well as with her call, jerked her purse off the floor, and shoved her son toward the seating area.  My heart broke.  She dropped into a chair and started texting or something on her phone.  I felt like screaming at her.  “Is what you’re doing on your phone more important than your son? Can you see what you just did?”  I wanted to grab her cell phone and fling it across the room.  “How incredibly stupid are you?”

It reminded me of the story I heard recently about a young couple starving, neglecting, and killing their real baby because they were too busy taking care of a virtual baby on a computer game.

I’ve also been told by grandmothers how concerned they are that their own sons and daughters neglect their children because they are too busy texting on their phones, playing games like Candy Crush, and messaging on social media.

A sense of disbelief chills me to the core.  I ask: What will the effects of technology have on future generations?  I don't know about you, but I’m worried.

Cindy A. Christiansen
Sweet Romance, Humor, Suspense...and Dogs!
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Copyright: damedeeso / 123RF Stock Photo

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