I Blame Old People

24 Jan

I’m convinced that the world would be a much safer place to live in if old people didn’t have cell phones.

Or maybe just less annoying.

Listen, I’m really sorry to have to be the one to say this because making fun of old people supposedly shortens your life expectancy, but I’m willing to take one for the team.

I constantly hear people complain about “these kids and their cell phones” on the road, in conversation,and at the dinner table.  And I certainly agree that unfortunately technology develops and improves faster than the rate of our etiquette.  Remember how long Facebook was out before we all collectively decided it just wasn’t okay to run around poking people or plastering personal information of an embarrassing or degrading nature on each other’s walls?  And we’re just finally getting to the point where we are pressuring people to stop posting personal, individual-related, emo status updates. 

So I understand.  I really do.  I don’t like a gum-chomping, oblivious teenage cell phone driver any more than the next guy.  But I have to admit that when I look around on the roads, I see a lot more old people doing it.

When I’m stuck behind a car that isn’t hitting the gas within 3 seconds of a green light, it’s not always a youngin in the front seat.  And when I’m out in social situations, it isn’t just the kiddos who are pulling out their cell phones in the middle of conversations. 

 I was attempting to cross the road to my house the other evening and spotted an older woman in a minivan full of children (presumably her own) approaching an intersection with her texting phone propped up on the steering wheel, eyes fully locked on the keyboard.

I’ve also heard far too many times that “these kids” constantly google things on their phones when in the middle of a conversation.  And that is definitely true.  I’m not really sure how it’s considered a flaw to want to end a debate quickly with the introduction of fact, but that’s another issue entirely.  The point is that we aren’t the only ones.

Dave and I had the pleasure of a few friends visiting us this weekend, one of whom was a baby boomer and came with his iEverything in tow.   Within the course of three hours, I witnessed him walk around my house scanning the barcodes off of random products in order to demonstrate an app’s ability to find the lowest price available in the local market for that item.  He also used his iPhone to google something and end a slightly charged debate about the date of Leslie Nielsen’s death.

And when we were at dinner, he couldn’t resist scanning the barcode on his beer bottle.  You know, just to see.

So stop blaming us.  Because as much as cell phones may be a product of our generation, we are not solely responsible for bearing the social and safety foibles that result from it.  We all are.  And for every kid who thinks they can eat fast food, drive stick shift, and text their buddy at the same time, there is an old fart attempting to read a text from her best friend while running through an intersection with a van full of kids.

And don’t get me started on the inappropriate things that old people post on their children’s walls.

So hey – I’m not solely blaming old people.  I’m just blaming them enough to balance out the blame that has been thrown onto young people’s shoulders all these years.    All of us are very excited about the cool things we can do with mind-bogglingly tiny gadgets.  And we are all very excited to explore their possibilities at all hours of the day regardless of whether it is a social faux pas or a safety hazard to those around us.

So let’s just stop pointing fingers and start spending our time updating our rules of etiquette.  Because I think we could all benefit from agreeing on a few things.  Let’s start with agreeing on how we’re all to blame.


6 Responses to “I Blame Old People”

  1. I’m one of those old people( 57) with cell phones. I avoided one for the longest time. Even though my husband drives to work 50 miles one way, we still would not get one. A computer was addiction enough. I didn’t want to add something else to the list. My husband and I got one out of convenience when my father was in the hospital. We DO have rules. Absolutely no talking while driving, and I wouldn’t dream of texting while driving. I can barely text in normal circumstances.


    • Jackie January 24, 2011 at 10:13 pm #

      It’s so hard not to give in, isn’t it? The world just seems so much safer with a cell phone. I hung on to a TracFone as long as I could, but the pressure of others texting me and costing me 50 cents a hit was just too much so I buckled and got a real one.

      I think we’d be fine if everyone would just use common sense. Unforunately, not everyone is as considerate as you when they drive (thanks, by the way!). I find it absurd that there are still states that don’t have a law banning texting and driving.


  2. Emma January 27, 2011 at 5:04 am #

    Hi !
    I’m from France and I really liked your article. My father is quite like the man you described – but he’s got a smartphone, not an iPhone – and googles everytime the conversation needs an information. I prefered when I was a child and when we had to check in dictionnaries and books to know the truth…
    In my opinion, new technologies can help as they can drive us stupid.


    PS: I told friends of mine that I like your blog, I hope you’ll have a little bit more visitors 😉
    Bye and thanks for this article.


    • Jackie January 27, 2011 at 11:25 pm #

      Hi! 🙂

      Sometimes I worry that new thoughts and divergent thinking will be squashed by googling.

      Thank you so much for the advertising, Emma, and thanks for stopping by!


  3. Megan January 27, 2011 at 7:03 pm #

    Ugh, I can’t stand old people or really really really young people. So how many years does that take off of MY life?

    PS I wish I was as witty and well versed as you because then I could have my own blog with ads I could make money off of.


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