While I was sitting at lunch today, a couple of my female co-workers were also in the break room talking about an article one of them was reading in the paper. It was about a small GPS device that you can give to your kids that lets you know where they are at all times. She noted that it was small enough to fit in a backpack, and then exclaimed that all she would be able to glean from that is where her son's backpack was. I thought at first that she was being funny, but after listening for a little while longer it became clear that she was completely serious. She wasn't going to be happy until she was basically able to track her kid's movements the entire time he was away from her.
Seriously? This is what it's come to?
I don't know that it's "come to" this. I suspect that technology has just made it all the easier to be a helicopter parent, in much the same way texting and GoogTwitBookFaceTubeSpace has made "being out of touch" the new big crime.
I've muttered before about how I don't think much of Facebook (come and get spammed) or Twitter (no other mode but the shout-out), but texting is another annoyance that is next to impossible to shut out entirely. Aside from the nickel-and-dime-you-to-death side of it*, there's the fact that suddenly, everyone you know with a QWERTY keyboard on their phone is messaging you with things that most of the time aren't even worth a Yes, No or I Haven't The Foggiest. For emergencies or for situations where talking on a phone is impractical — e.g., a convention where you're fighting to be heard over two thousand other people — texting is one thing, but ...
It depresses me that I can't remember the last time I actually sat down and wrote a letter to someone, if only because it's generally easier and faster to call any of those someones and talk to them. But a phone conversation is not the same thing as a letter, which is not the same thing as an afternoon spent in the living rooms, and I'm hoping our spur-of-the-moment love affair with instant connectivity wanes when we realize it's like swapping candy bars for a home-cooked meal.
* Yes, I could get a plan that offers me economy texting. No, I don't want it. For precisely the reasons outlined above.