Saturday, November 28, 2015


WARNING!!!! This is a blog by my dear husband Doug.  The opinions expressed in this blog are definitely not the opinions of management

Remember the Silent Majority? For those of you who are too young, the Silent Majority was a group of people - a creation of the politicians and news media back in the sixties and seventies. They were supposedly the very large number of citizens who held strong opinions about things but expressed them only when faced with a ballot inside a voting booth.

Those wanting to win their vote were always trying to figure out what the Silent Majority were thinking so they could tailor their policies to win them over.

Well people, the Silent Majority are silent no more. Thanks to social media and cellular phones those folks are now chatting and chatting and posting and chattering endlessly- in fact they just won't shut up!

We older people (just older not senile) are going to be the last generation to know what it was like to be out. When we left our house or workplace we were gone- couldn't be reached - until we resurfaced somewhere that had a landline ( how quaint).

The phone was a wonderful convenience for communicating by VOICE with people that were so far removed that it wasn't practical to shout at them. It was a friendly device most of the time only occasionally intrusive. I feel like a Silent Minority of one who wishes it had stayed that way.

I admit that I'm a bit of a loner, comfortable in my own company. (WHICH HE WILL BE HAVING A LOT MORE OF.) These days though, because I don't have a phone (of any kind) I am beginning to feel like the guy that wears aluminium foil on his head to keep the aliens and/or the secret government from reprogramming his mind.

As long as I don't have a phone all those invisible rays flying through the air can't invade MY brain. Except that they do- my significant other lets them into her brain and then she passes them on to me by sharing them verbally or sometimes visually( here look at this! LOL—arrrghhh).

The next time you are in a restaurant, lay down your own phone for a minute and look around you. Almost everybody who can coherently crook a finger or two is on their phone. They aren't talking to their companion or companions, sometimes they don't even seem to be aware of what they are eating. (This may explain the continued existence of so many restaurants purveying food items that are both unhealthy and inedible.)

Think of the money the phone companies are bringing in just so you can sit at your table and know what your second cousin once removed or maybe a recently found childhood acquaintance (that you didn't like all that much in the first place) is having for lunch at their table 400 miles away.

If people weren't silly enough to be constantly buying the latest and newest gadgetiest phone going, the cellular companies would give them away free in cereal boxes just to ensure their revenue stream.

Meanwhile I sit at my table completely anchored in the physical place that I find myself. I look about me, wait patiently for my food to arrive (well...maybe I daydream a bit) and watch for an acknowledgement from others that I am really there with them. They are all having private conversations via their twiddly little fingers with people who are probably strangers to me. I am shut out. It is this sort of thing that damages personal relationships, important relationships with folks that are actually physically close to you. People you really should be paying attention to. Like that twitchy fella with the blank eyes three tables over. He keeps looking our way and stroking his table knife in a most disturbing way.

So to paraphrase the late great President Ronald Reagan I say “MR (or other appropriate appellation) PUBLIC - PUT DOWN THAT PHONE!” Please... just for awhile, twenty minutes or so, or an hour, maybe even a whole day. Look your companions in the eye, use your voice to speak with them, listen to what they have to say. Be there in that moment with them. Shut off the avalanching  mountain of fluff that is coming at you. Take a breather, contemplate, meditate, Search For The Meaning Of Life ( you'll never find it but it's good to try).

The ancient Greeks had a motto. They couldn't tweet (can anything serious ever be contained in a tweet?) so they wrote it in stone. It said 'Moderation In All Things'.

Okay that's it, I'm done. I'm going outside now to feel the sun on my face and the wind in my hair. I'll probably smell a flower or two and feel the sand and gravel underfoot but it's unlikely I'll taste shouldn't either, licking those phones is bad for you, they're full of chemicals and electricity and covered in germs.... 



George Yates said...

Love it I am right there with you, but do carry a plain old cell phone so that my wife can find me when I am gone too long enjoying nature or a friendly conversation with people.

Wanderin' said...

Sometimes it feels good to have a rant or two about one thing or another. Terry seems to have the same rant occasionally.

Paul and Marsha Weaver OCT. 17, 2009 said...

We both have phones but also notice the lack of conversation any where. We HATE when we are shopping...doesn't matter where...and there is someone walking around the store talking on their phone so loudly. Acting like they are the most important person alive and that we all just are dying to hear their conversation. Please, give us a break! We care less about what you are talking about.

Go smell those roses and put those feet in the sand. Life is too short. Keep enjoying the good life.

Linda Sand said...

I resisted getting a cell phone right up until I had my double knee replacements. Then I felt a need to be able to call for help if I needed to do so so I got a phone I could hang from my walker while recovering. But I still have my ringer turned off and all alerts turned off and I don't always realize my phone is vibrating so I may not answer your call. But when our daughter calls and I do answer we usually talk for an hour. Since I only get to see her once every year or two those calls make it worth owning that phone.

Now about my computer and tablet--I better talk to Toni about those. :)

Peter + Beatrix said...

GREAT posting Doug. The only positive of all this phoning I noticed is that the kids in my bus don't want to watch loud screaming (disturbing) movies anymore, as they are way too busy looking and twiddle-fingering their devices. You should do a rant more often. Really enjoyed it.

Jim and Sandie said...

I understand where you're coming from but when it is just Jim and I, he is such a slow eater I really don't want to engage him in conversation because he will never finish eating. So I read a book on my phone. lol Rant on. Love it.