To the Editor,

I’m an old geezer, but I appreciate progress and the advantages of new technology. I have used a smartphone for several years and find the capabilities useful for many occasions. Unlike most of my grandkids, I use it to make actual phone calls, and I don’t twitter or tweet or post pictures of my latest meal, or play games, but much of the technology is very useful to me, especially when travelling. But I have concerns about the overuse and evident addiction I frequently see.

The wife and I spent Thanksgiving weekend in San Antonio to visit kin and see the annual parade of lights on the Riverwalk. At the hotel’s breakfast buffet, I poured a cup of coffee and sat down to wait on my wife coming down to eat. At the table next to me was a man and woman and two kids I would guess to be 5 or 6 years old. Both kids had a phone in their hands, playing a game, while the father fed them their breakfast, one spoon at a time. Neither of the kids took their eye off the game for an instant, simply opening their mouth for the next spoonful. Later in the day, I left our room on the 4th floor, got on the elevator and pressed the button for the lobby. A young woman also entered with a phone a few inches from her nose. The elevator descended and stopped at the 2nd floor, the door opened, the woman walked off, never taking her eyes off the phone. I held the door open for a few seconds and sure enough, she came running back exclaiming “this isn’t the 1st floor”. The next morning at breakfast a family of 4 came in and sat at the table next to us. A boy and girl, about 16 or 17 and their parents. All but the boy got their food and began eating. He never looked up from the phone. The girl tried to give him some fruit, but he just shook his head and continued staring at the phone. Finally, the mother told him he needed to eat something and said there were some muffins and sweet rolls if nothing else. He said “ok, a muffin.” The mother got up, went to the sideboard, brought back a muffin, peeled off the paper and broke it in pieces for him. He ate, never once taking his eyes off the phone.

It could be that I am just an old goat out of step with the ways of a younger generation. Or, it could be that the advances in technology in this digital age are mostly a good thing, but----.

J.D. Carpenter, Waxahachie