Let me start by saying that I absolutely see the irony and borderline hipocracy of this post, being that I am typing it on an iPad, in an airport, after an exausting search for any available power outlet…
It’s that time of year again… SPRING BREAK!
What does that mean? For some, it’s an oportunity to drink a lot of booze, make bad choices, and spend their parents hard earned money killing brain cells… Ah yes, fun times indeed. But I digress. For those of us who are airline vagabonds by trade, we see something even more sinister than unexplainable spikes in sales of morning after pills and bail-bondsman calls. Yes, there is something worse… much worse: Oversold flights (no room for commuting airline employees) and a devastating lack of available power outlets throughout the airport.
A good chair near a power outlet is always prime realestate in an airport, but add thousands and thousands of traveling young adults in their late teens to early twenties and it’s pure madness! Each one needs three outlets to feed their iPhone, MacBook, and iPad, and a fourth if a dedicated mp3 player was invited along on the trip.
I’ll conceed that every age-group is catching this disease, but for the current generation of young adults, well… they were born with it, passed along by their parents not through DNA, but by the desire to shower their children in all the things they just did not have, combined with the tech explosion that coincided with their entrance onto the scene.
Getting back to the Matrix theme above, it’s almost a sad site to see. Five or six college aged young adults huddled up on a dirty floor, next to a busy restroom and the janitor’s closet, each of them with wires feeding into the lone power outlet (often taking turns getting “a hit” of charge) to keep their beloved gadgets connected to the Matrix… er, the internet. Here they are, embarking on a memory making journey with their college friends (those memories not lost to alchohol induced blackouts and Rohypnol), yet there they sadly sit, ignoring each other, desperate to keep up with their preferred realities inside the social networking Matrix.
We can’t blame them, though. It’s the world we created and thrust them into with no limits in many cases. They’ve spent their entire lives connected, almost literally to the brainstem like in the movie.
Sigh… As much as I love the ability to stay comnected, sometimes I jokingly think that a grid destroying EMP attack or solar flare event would actually be liberating… except of course for the chaos that would surely follow caused by the hysteria of those who can no longer function in the real (natural) world. Regardless of age group or social class, we have all become too dependent on being connected.
When I go home, I try to avoid my smartphone, iPad, and laptop to the detriment of my attempt at a writing career. I prefer to spend my time focused on my wife, children, and our little hobby farm, grounded in the real world. Those are the important things in life, and that’s what I want my children to see as important as well.