My usual walk takes me down a long, desolate, dead-end road, where a path extends further off the end. Parked at the end of the road today was a car with a couple of teenagers sitting on the trunk. They watched quietly as I came down the road. They had the typical surely teenager appearance and a demeanour of constant negative defensiveness, but as I approached and said hello they were polite and well mannered. (I remember being shocked and feeling old the first time I was addressed as “sir” by a college kid partying with his friends, but now I notice why it is appropriate and important which makes me feel even older.)
I barely broke stride as we shared a few words. From those words I learned that they did not have cellphones. Not because they were against technology, but because they did not want to be bothered by their parents.
After moving along, they returned to their conversation and I wondered if they actually had phones, but just left them in the mailbox the way I used to with my hat and gloves.
The long winter of technology’s overbearing, shiny-object allure is coming to an end.