Glenn Reynolds addressed Princeton’s James Madison program dealing with social media and how it has affected society.
One thing that The Perfesser addresses is how platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and others help divide people, promote anger and hatred, and have acted like a disease vector. But one thing that Reynolds didn’t address is the absolute addiction the people have to their smart phones. People feel uncomfortable if they don’t have their phone with them or nearby. I have seen people freak out if their phone isn’t readily available, be it because they’ve misplaced it, left it at home, or the battery has died and they don’t have the means of recharging the phone immediately. They feel isolated and alone even in a crowd of people. You can’t tell me that isn’t a factor in this social media dilemma.
One of the other things I have noticed is how often people have asked me why I didn’t answer their phone call or their text messages right away. As I had to remind them on more than one occasion, I have my phone is for my convenience, not theirs. I don’t always have it on my person, particularly at work. I don’t feel compelled to answer it every time it rings, particularly in light of the large number of annoying robocalls. Sometimes I am in the middle of something and I don’t feel compelled to answer the phone when it rings. The caller will either leave a message or call back later if it’s important. If it’s someone I know I’ll call them back when I’m finished whatever it is I’m working on. If it’s a text, I’ll answer it when I have time to do so. Again, my phone is for my convenience, not anyone else’s, period.
To close this out, there’s this by way of Powerline: