Rescue me, please.
It's a beautiful day and the streets of an historic town are lined by trees in vivid fall color. I pass a group of seven teenagers. Each of them is staring intently at their phones. There is no conversation or interaction of any kind among them for the ten minutes I sit waiting for my wife to exit a nearby coffee shop.
I'm at a Jackson Browne concert at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, N.J. In the mezzanine row directly in front of me are three middle-aged women. For the duration of the concert all three scroll the screens on their phones non-stop. Not one of them claps after a single song. As the audience stands hoping for an encore, they remain seated, continuing to scroll.
If you must, call me a crank for reflecting on the modern-day tableaux I observed in that town or for wondering about the women at that concert. Most days I avoid thinking about this inescapable fact of our current reality. Today, I long to be rescued. This too shall pass.