Well, they say a lot. Maybe it's time for them to start listening. Did you know that an entire generation is addicted to themselves? The ME-ME Generation. The first thing they hear themselves think when they wake up is, Where's my phone? Do I have any new messages? I bet they love themselves so much that when the time has come again to touch their favorite organ, they think about themselves and no one else.
Yesterday I was at our local movie theater trying to watch Crimson Peak. I say trying, because sitting in front of me was this young lady who kept checking her Facebook messages. Every ten minutes. I know this because I timed her. It also didn't take a rocket scientist to determine she couldn't help herself even if she wanted to — she was drugged by Apple, the unhealthy fruit. Her messages were clearly much more important than our collective wish to watch the movie without some annoying bright light switching on and off all the time. She couldn't care less about our sighs. 'Bright light! Bright light!' I know, we are so intolerant. Let's all do it: switch it on, switch it off. Be modern and flexible in one fell swoop.
The ME-ME Generation is like a worldwide virus that even preys on Daddies and Mommas, for it's not only young people who need their quick fix of ME-Time but also adults who seem obsessed with themselves to the point that they can't even concentrate at work. They need to check their messages. It's essential. They're like people who smoke and need ten breaks, only much, much worse. Multitasking my shoe. They are weak, is what they are. 'I want a phone. I want an iPad.' Who in their right mind gives their three-year-old a $600 iPad? Well, parents who need a nanny because they want to devote all of their precious time to their beloved piece of technology.
How did this happen? When did people become this self-centered? And how did they manage to sneak up on me? Was I looking the other way? Why does it sometimes feel like I'm an extra in The Invasion of the Body Snatchers?
Because I am?
Through the years I've seen my hard-working students transform into twenty-year-old princes and princesses with the attention span of an ant. Spoiled brats who stop reading out loud after three sentences and ask me (as if tormented and poised to give me two thumbs down on Facebook), 'Do I need to read on?' The quick and easy bite. 'Yes, you need to read on. Why, are you bored?' 'No, I was just wondering if I had to read the entire paragraph.' A freaking paragraph. I guess they think it's hard work. Why do I need to read something that's clearly out there waiting for me in hyperspace at the press of a button? Why would I take it all in and — heaven forbid — reflect on it in great detail without the assistance of Wikipedia? I know, it's borderline criminal.
Information fast food is all the rage. Tweets. You name it. Oh I used to tell my students that I'd rather they wrote a lot about a little than a little about a lot, and that particular preference of mine would always make perfect sense to them. Those days are long gone. Who needs indepth discussions when there's so little time and so many mental snacks?
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