Alas, I have been caught in the cell phone snare. While speaking to my Sonoma State University students one day, mine went off, much to their delight, giggles and snickers, as well as my embarrassment.
We may have a social epidemic on our hands. Studies reported in three Press Democrat articles this year reveal that "American teenagers sent and received an average of 2,272 text messages a month in the fourth quarter of 2008."
I invited a SSU freshman class to go to Santa Rosa for a film and dinner. The first thing that some of these teens did at the restaurant was to put their cell phones on the dinner table.
Their little gadgets promptly vibrated, buzzed and made a variety of demanding sounds. My dinner guests were soon miles away texting, having what sounded like one-way conversations intruding into our dinner and playing phone games, ignoring the rest of us at the table in front of them.
What happened to old-fashioned connective mealtime conversations?