Traverse City Record-Eagle

Life

November 24, 2013

Nathan Payne: Maybe we're generation lost to 'selfie'

I’ve never been known for choosing my words particularly wisely.

My wife, Kate, will be the first to acknowledge my ability to trip over my tongue and fall straight into trouble — this is the part where she usually begins to scowl at me.

That’s why I need to apologize in advance to 30-somethings in the coffee shop down the street and around the world for what they’re about to read. Well, that is if they have time to set down their smartphones long enough to read a few hundred words.

You know who you are.

And I’m not saying I wouldn’t be in the same boat if I were sitting at a table sipping my grande, nonfat, dirty chai, poking away at Facebook updates on my iPhone. Sure many of my “friends” are people who wouldn’t make my Christmas card list, but how else should I fill my free time?

I sure wouldn’t want to do something that might interfere with my right thumb’s ability to scroll through posts about whose kid ate what for breakfast. Heck, doing something like being a good parent or volunteering for a community cause would take effort.

I’ve stood along side many of you on the sidelines of my son’s youth soccer games answering emails and perusing life updates while I should have been watching the action on the field.

For the generation whose parents invented the trophy for participation, effort is the last thing we would want to trouble ourselves with.

But it was a radio report I heard while driving to work Tuesday morning that jolted me out of my connectivity coma.

The stalwart public radio personality droned along reading news of bombings in Beirut, Lebanon, NSA spying and health care problems in the background as my Jeep hummed along. Then came the word.

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