Friday’s Weekend Column
About a Minnesota Man Exploring Life in the South

No Internet
by James Glaser
February 27, 2009

Yesterday, I didn't have a new column, because I didn't have an internet connection. Was that bad? No, it wasn't bad, in fact, it was kind of nice. It was kind of like leaving your cell phone at home. At first you worry and maybe you even miss it a bit, but then you realize that you have a whole day without interruptions. That can be nice.

Whenever Wanda and I go out for dinner, she leaves her cell phone in the car. That's good... no interruptions. Last night, no internet. I worked around the house, and got more done that I would have if the computer was working.

I have talked about this before. There appears to be no children in Tallahassee. You can drive all around town taking side streets, and you won't see one kick ball game going on in the street. You watch the yards and won't see any children playing. Even the parks are empty.

I'm older, so people my age don't have their own kids at home, So this week I made a point of asking younger people what their kids do all the time. To my surprise most of the parents had no idea. Most said, "I guess they are playing." Weird! When I was growing up, my mom and dad would have had to say the same. I was playing, but it was outside with the rest of the child population of Saint Paul. You only stayed in if you were sick. I think "Go outside and play" was my mother's favorite line.

Many people tell me the kids are watching television or they are playing computer games. I think to myself, "All the time?" What about Cowboys and Indians? What about climbing trees, riding bikes, shooting sling-shots? Kick ball, roller blades, skate boards, or just hanging around with your friends. Heck, what about girls? Looking at them, looking for them. Are young guys that out of it? Can a computer game be that much fun?

I don't see any Boy Scouts or Cub Scouts. I don't see kids playing stretch or mumbalipeg. I have been down here for a few years now, and I have yet to see a kid with a fishing pole or a kite.

Maybe all the children have been sucked in with electronics. If so, I am sad for them.

So, yesterday I had no computer to take up my time, but I had lots of things to do. Maybe, when that happens to young people they just vegetate, because they don't know how to do anything else. A few more generations like the one we have coming up now, and America will be a different country.

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