You’re doing it right now. Maybe. You’re holding your smart phone and staring at the screen. Flipping through Instagram, Facebook, Words with Friends, Candy Crush, or YouTube videos. Or playing solitaire. Or texting your sister. Your kids, grandkids or friends keep telling you you’re hooked, but you deny it. You can put the phone down anytime you want. Just as soon as you watch one more video of the drunk guy trying to get on a horse.
There was a time in the 50s and 60s when boomers worried about how much time their kids were spending in front of the TV. Now the roles have reversed. The grown-up kids are worried that mom and dad have become smart phone junkies. Mom and Dad are ignoring the grandkids and everyone else for that matter, while they get sucked deeper into the world on that tiny screen. You can see them repeatedly flicking a finger to move on to the next image or video, eyes like zombies.
Oh no! They’ve become screenagers! The smart phone is permanently attached to their hands and they are not letting go for anything. According to a 2019 Pew Research Center survey, two-thirds of boomers own a smartphone and about 6 out of 10 are on social media. They may not be the largest generation anymore, but they still represent a huge number of eyeballs glued to smart phones.
You’ve probably witnessed large groups of boomers in airports or restaurants. Despite being with family or good friends, no one is speaking to anyone else unless it’s to share something they just saw on their smart phone. The sharing act is about as close as they come to actually interacting with each other.
What to do? Call a timeout. Suggest that everyone put down their phones for just a little while and have a conversation. It may start with yourself. You have to recognize your own addiction and then decide there is a time and a place for smart phone entertainment, and it’s not when you’re with your grandkids or good friends.
I’ll join you. I just want to see one more clip where the guy dressed as a tree jumps out to scare pedestrians. I especially like the part where the lady whacks him repeatedly with her umbrella. What could be more fun than that?
Jay Harrison is a writer and creative consultant for DesignConcept. You can also visit his author page here. His newest mystery novel, Rio Puerco Demise is available on Amazon. His first mystery novel, Head Above Water, is also available on Amazon. But that’s not all. You can also purchase the Best of BoomSpeak on Amazon.