Published on December 20th, 2013 | by Craig Shoemaker0
Editor’s Note: We are thrilled to have Emmy Award winning comedian, Craig Shoemaker, write this piece for us. You can learn more about Craig and his most recent work by visiting his website, CraigShoemaker.com and by following him on Twitter.
(of a person) lacking contact with reality.
Ironic that as our “high speed connection” increases with technological advances that our “human connection” has decreased at the same rate. It begs the question: Have we evolved too far?
I am concerned about the next generation. With us doing all the work for them, and supplying “participation trophies” just for being on the team, how will we grow?
One thing that drives me nuts is how many of my friends correspond by text message, rather than simply return a phone call. I think most of the current overuse of texting is pretty much saying, “I really don’t want to discuss anything or get your feedback, and this is the accepted way of saying I have no time for you, since I’m spending all my hours catching up with emails, Twittering and Facebook status updates. Therefore, I have MORE people to catch up with, and you are now outdated. I’m on a relationship upgrade, and you are Windows 98.”
We search for more “friends” on social networks we don’t really know, and we cease development of the good friendships we have. It’s like taking money investments and moving to another bank before the cash can accrue interest. It sends a confusing message to our kids. Plus, how much can they learn when we have to keep the wisdom to 140 characters?
As it is now, I can’t see how any great authors will come out of this generation. Imagine classics being written today? It was the best of times. #poor #great #expect #CDickens
Our natural brain function is not being exercised, since there is now a dependence on machines to do our research for us.
One thing I have always prided myself on is my keen memory, much to the chagrin of some friends I know, who would prefer to forget some past indiscretions! I am always there to remind a friend of a drunken tale he’d rather not have his son hear, as I recount detailed stories of our days in high school when life was carefree and without boundaries, including some stupid little law about a “drinking age.”
Not to sound like an old curmudgeon, which I do to my teenage son, but I truly believe that we have gone too far in developing shortcuts, easy ways through obstacles and even “cheats” for a video game. If we allow tech weenies in a Silicon Valley cubicle guide our life, how much are we going to figure things out ourselves? I enjoy testing my mind with trivia queries such as, “What film character was played by two different actors, that led to Academy Awards for both?”
Now, how many of you ran to Google for the answer? We seem to think there are benefits to getting something quicker, forgetting how important it is to exercise our brain muscle. If we’re at the gym, we wouldn’t say, “I don’t need a spotter, thank you. I brought a personal valet to lift the weights for me. In a few weeks, I will have those biceps I’ve always dreamt of showing off!”
I am concerned about the next generation. With us doing all the work for them, and supplying “participation trophies” just for being on the team, how will we grow? I can picture a job interview when the child grows up and enters the work force, and the shock and confusion when a prospective employer says they are not hiring your child. “What do you MEAN, I am not what you’re looking for? My mom dressed me and dropped me off at your office, and won’t be back to pick me up until the workday is over. What do I do now? Do I get something for coming to the interview? Can I keep this company coffee mug for my prize? You will be hearing from my dad’s lawyer!”
The truth is, we have to let our kids stumble, so they can learn how to get up. You know what teaches a lesson more than any parenting book? A SCAR! My mom must’ve told me a thousand times not to play near the stove. You know what convinced me she was right? Playing near the stove. The burn mark I have on my hand is my permanent Post-It Note. “Reminder – Do NOT fart around in the kitchen!”
Let’s agree to slow things down a bit. Take a pause before rushing to press “send” on an email. Better yet, how about you re-experience the horrible taste of a postage stamp, actually walk your sedentary, overweight kids to a mailbox and send a handwritten letter to someone special. If you don’t remember, it is called a “Pen Pal,” not a “Snap Chat.” And if your pen breaks, you don’t have to stand in line at a tech store, hoping the warranty is still good on your laptop.
Communion. Communication. Community. Let’s commit more to the essentials. Relate, instead of reboot. Speak to one another, and refrain from thumb tap dancing a message to a friend. How about a REAL happy face from a live laugh, replacing that new emoticon you just discovered?
Now, how many made it this far? You’re 830 words in. I congratulate you! Don’t have a special trophy, but for your patience there is a reward, the answer to the trivia question.
Marlon Brando and Robert DeNiro both played the character “Vito Corrleone” in “The Godfather.”
Now, pose that at your dinner table verbally, leaving your thumbs free for more important bonding with the children – thumb wrestling!