In concert with mobile devices, the internet has ushered in a social malady we may not cure but for the arrival of calamity.
The “living” room used to be a place of congregation. Handicrafts, garment repair, reading, conversation, music, then radio and then the single family television, all of our favorite social pastimes took place in the living room. No more.
Now-a-days this room might host a single denizen, someone who has commandeered the large screen. The rest of his/her family is cast to their private chambers and their private devices where they exchange private messages with private eyes.
I recall Sunday nights, the Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, and then the Wonderful World of Disney. All of us, despite homework demands, or illness, or whether we finished our dinner or not, gathered in the living room to become collectively entranced as Marlin Perkins fumbled his grandfatherly way with the creatures they portrayed. And then ol’ Walt would come on…
Today, despite a house full of people, I’m sitting here, alone, in the living room, wishing the internet had never been invented. Or, if nothing more, that a CME might descend, wipe the grid and save myself from another lonely night passing the time, by myself. Maybe I’ll check my phone for notifications….