Thursday, July 26, 2018

Are we letting the apes get ahead of us?

Many older people are doubtful that the younger generation, say, under 30 years of age at this time, are prepared to face life's obstacles and nasty turns.  Their favorite worry seems to be screen time and the possibility of lower interpersonal skills and niceties. The sort of immaturity and poor manners show in the YouTube "Millennial Job Interview" captures their fears.  

I spend plenty of time with people over 70 and some getting close to that age and I observe lots of screen time among that group.  So, I don't think that it is only young smartphone users and Instagram and Pinterest users that ignore facial expressions, worry about nasty comments on social media, and transmit derogatory comments to others.  

The news in the last few days has included references to Nikki Haley, Indian-American former governor of South Carolina and currently US ambassador to the UN and her talk to high schoolers advising them to turn away for "owning the libs", the practice of honing provocation skills on social media and being satisfied with enraging "liberals".  Such behavior does not improve lives nor serve to lead others higher.

Sitting together while thumbing screens is a very common activity these days but consider our cousins, the other apes such as chimps, gorillas and orangutans.  While we are checking our tweets, they are physically caring for each other.

True, they have coats that need inspection and bug removal.  They lack showers and shampoo (I think). But our lives are drifting away from touching each other.  We tend to think touching = sexual activity and find ways to avoid non-sexual touching. Meanwhile, warm and lasting relationships are being formed in our cousin families right under our noses.

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