Letter: Our hermaphroditic society

There is an old joke making the rounds on the internet that goes thusly: “I wonder what our parents did to kill time before there were video games, smart cell phones, social media, and the internet.  I asked my 26 brothers and sisters and they didn’t know either.”

We seem to be too busy today with our toys to take time to be civil, be polite, talk to each other tête-à-tête, and enjoy life.  We think our population is self-sustaining because everyone is hermaphroditic, so why do we need to know anyone.  We can fire all storks.

I remember the days when a person working in an office would go for a break just to get away from the phone.  Now, we, the intelligent generation, take our phones with us so we will know within three seconds when 6-month-old Bobby fills his diapers and how it smelled.  Of course, Mommy will take a picture of it and send that too.  Who wouldn’t want to see that?  And of course, everyone at the table must be told this wonderful, world shattering news.  A few minutes later someone else will tell us that her husband just paid $1,000 for a VanAnalhöhle painting.  Someone from across the room will be informing everyone that her grandson just got $5 from the little girl with gossamer wings and distributes money to children who lose a tooth, (politically correct way), or my way, the tooth fairy.  That is all very interesting and I know that my day will be enlightened more because I received all of this new garnered knowledge.

We won’t be using names any more.  When we meet someone we know, we’ll say, ”Hi four five six seven eight zero one how are you today?”  “Hey four eighty six thousand two (480-6002), I’m doing real good” would be a typical reply.  If any children are born, they won’t be given a name, they will receive a cell phone and their phone number will be their moniker. 

So, yes, back in my day we didn’t have too much free time because we were busy remembering names, reading a good book or learning a new skill and leaning over the fence to talk to the neighbor and if one could be found, chew on a nice long green blade of grass.  If you called someone and they didn’t answer the phone, no big deal, you would try calling again; you couldn’t play phone tag.

And it has been said that life is moving too fast, life is frustrating and stressful.  Well, take three guesses — and the first two don’t count — on who to blame for that.  You mutter to yourself as you go to the bathroom, “Life, slow down, be friendlier” as you check your habiliment for your smart phone. 


Dale Schunke

Tucson, Arizona