Thursday, June 26, 2008
The Dumbing of America
A few months ago I was without my keys or my cell phone via circumstances too convoluted to go into here. I was then that I realized I was significantly dumber than I was four years ago. I realized that at that moment I only KNEW two phone numbers other than my own. My mothers and a single friend of mines.
There was a time that I knew fifteen or twenty numbers by heart. Someone would ask and I could rattle one them off without thinking about it. Now with a need to call someone for assistance, I was befuddled. Bedeviled. Bestupided.
This only occured to me again recently when as I stood outside Party B trying to figure out how to the get Party C, the person I was trying to get directions from told me that although they had been to the place before, they did not know how to get there. "I just put the address in my GPS" was the memorable statement in the explanation. I realized that now people didn't need directions, just the address and trust whatever spit back out of the machine. Isn't this a fine kettle of fish. So now we've not only forgotten phone numbers, we've forgotten how to get places.
I suddenly want to give a party that only has directions, no address. And when you get to the yellow house, you'll be there.
I understand modern conveniences, I myself just bought a blackberry. (It's great too, you should get one) But I didn't turn on the GPS function. So there. And true back when I could remember phone numbers I didn't have a cell...which lead to me getting cell phone calls on other peoples phones. Which is funnier than you think, since it meant they assumed I was with that person, but they didn't want to talk to them.
I'm now trying to figure out what we can forget next so I can invent a machine that does it and make a fortune. Phone numbers have been done, we stopped doing math when we got calculators, and now getting places. Maybe I could re-invent meals in a bag and when people as what's in it the eater won't know - just say it's good. Wait, they call that a restaurant. I'll think of something...just you wait.
Barkeep...lemme have a...no, I have to tell you what to put in the glass.