We’ve Gone Quiet

Not so many years ago I followed two teens through a mall. They were both talking on cell phones. It took me a few minutes to recognize, they were talking to each other. The world was noisier then: people talking aloud to thin air (using ear sets to connect to the phone in their pocket), music in malls and restaurants so loud we shouted to be heard, and the chatter of people actually talking to one another.

This morning, I sat in the waiting room of a car dealership, while a new battery was installed in my car. Four of us scattered around the room. It was quiet. The huge wall-mounted TV was off, even though it’s controller was convenient. The four customers read a book (me), worked on a laptop, typed into a smart phone and read a magazine. Yes, three of the four were at least fifty years old. But it was eerie to be in such a public place and it be so quiet. At a recent function five twenty-somethings sat in a row, each enthralled with whatever he or she was doing on his or her smart phone.

Is this a trend?