What started out as fun has become, well, not fun. And dangerous perhaps.
I’m driving and I see this kid propped up by his handlebars, on a banana seat and he half-ass steers himself away from me. He lifts his face and takes a brief, hurried look at the road, but not me. I slow down, look at him texting on his rusty handlebars. Wait now… yeah—no—he’s on Facebook. On a bike. On the road. I say, “Hey, guy. Are you not worried about getting hit?” I think it sounded like I was patient and calm. Good. ‘Cause I feel like I appeared snotty. Kids have a sense of entitlement; I very much dislike their attitudes. Nonetheless, I love teens.
He let his foot drag and stopped the bike. He shrugs, shakes his head. He said, “Who made you the texting police?” Pushes off and scrolls, peddling slowly.
I want to get mad and tell him he’s dense. But I feel sorry for the kid. He’s riding alone, but in the company of Facebook users. What does this kid do when winter storms fill the roads? I suppose he just walks. He seems to be going nowhere, and maybe it doesn’t matter if he arrives anywhere. Traffic was coming, I had to move on. I said, “Careful, okay?”
He nodded, and I think the corner of his mouth raised his cheek. Briefly, though. Just for a sec.
When we baby boomers were that kid’s age, we all had bikes and we ran in packs. We didn’t even know what a cordless house phone was. We had Packman, Archie magazines, and we twisted the curly phone cord around our fingers while making plans to meet up or drop by each others’ homes. If our parents were on the phone we walked blocks and blocks to each others’ home. We did not know that so-and-so just made delicious spaghetti. We didn’t know what a profile pic was. Photos were at home in an album or box. Summer nights we played hide and go seek in neighbours’ back yards. The people in my neighbourhood couldn’t afford fences, so we got it goin’, running like untamed beasts.
Humans are distracted by ping-ding-ring thing noises. Some keep their phone off, many do not. My hubby is a commodities relocation manager. This means he drives transport. He gets lonely and bored, so my cell phone rings off his Bluetooth. It makes me tense when I’m driving. I hope nothing has happened to him. A pretty Zen harp. I used to like it, but I throw up a little in my throat when it rings now. I think I’m an introvert, pretty sure. I couldn’t be hooked into the texting thing or social media on the go. I prefer to write in peace on my desktop, and go out to get away from me. If that makes any sense? To me it’s a cell and chain, I’d have it off mostly if I didn’t have to be available in case my hubby got hurt on the highway. No ping-ding-ring thing all day long for me, thanks.
I am curious, however, about how humans manage the distractions of the cell sounds. I have the attention span of a common goldfish, so I just won’t deal with such interruptions when I’m trying not to speed in my car. ADD they said. That means Attentional Daydream Disorientation. Not so bad; not ideal.
Thanks for reading~