"There are a number of things that niggle me today that board upon a dependency that is strong enough to view as 'an addiction'. We all have some addiction and I know that I have certainly had mine in the past which weren't easy to break. However, being addicted to say sweet things such as chocolates, while possibly affecting one's own health and peace of mind, doesn't really impinge upon the life of another; unless of course you eat a large box of chocolates nightly and now weigh fifty stone and your partner and children worry you will have a massive heart attack! But most addictions sadly do impinge upon the lives of others, yet, still, we insist that they are somehow socially acceptable.
For fifty years I smoked cigarettes, and a pipe also in my latter stages until I gave up fourteen years ago. I always considered myself being 'a considerate smoker', and politically correct by refusing to smoke in the house, at any dining table where others were eating or ever in front of children. I always asked non-smokers in my company if they objected to me smoking in their presence. Being either of polite disposition or too non-assertive to say otherwise, most said they didn't object, though I later learned after I gave up smoking that they did, but thought it rude to say so.
When I was a smoker, I reckoned at the time that taking myself off or excusing myself from present company whilst I nipped outside for a quick smoke was doing the polite thing. Since I stopped smoking, I frequently find myself being more aware of how rude I must have seemed to past company when I absented myself from their presence for ten minutes for a quick drag.
At the top of addictions, today is the addiction to one's mobile phone. This compulsive behaviour is every bit as bad and as entrenched an addiction as I was to the tobacco weed. What is more, the addiction to one's mobile starts younger today than ever my smoking did, and I wasn't even a teenager when I started smoking! Mobile addiction is so bad today that people cannot walk, drink eat and even sleep without having their mobile either at their fingertips or glued to their ear.
I find it difficult to understand that people with mobile-phone addiction are so insensitive that they cannot see the sending and receiving of texts messages or calls in the presence of company is so disrespectful to that present company. One such offender might just as well say to present company when they break off a conversation mid-stream to use their mobile, 'Sorry but I need to take this. What this person has to say is far more important and interesting than anything you are ever likely to utter to me!' And a person who constantly looks at their phone or is texting someone else while engaged in discussion with you is being just as rude and inconsiderate as another person who is pretending to have a meaningful conversation with you while they are continuing to watch the television or are simultaneously listening to some music through a pair of earphones while providing the occasional nod of the head that is supposed to communicate, 'Go on, I'm listening!'
I don't know about you, but I find it extremely rude that when in the company of others who are supposed to be enjoying a shared meal, one of the group between servings sneaks off for a crafty smoke, or another who continues to play with their mobile phone which they have in hand 'at the ready' whilst allegedly socialising with me.
I strongly approve of the shops that refuse to serve customers at the till while customers are using their phone. Can any of you possibly imagine (had the technology existed at the time) of soldiers in the trenches of two world wars posting on 'YouTube' instant images of death and carnage they were experiencing? No way! Many soldiers were unable to ever speak of the horrors of war that they'd witnessed, let alone consider posting images of depravity or sexually intimate pictures of ex-partners on Facebook. They had no instant communication and often received letters from their loved ones months after they'd been written and posted.
I'm not saying that had nthe opportunity existed in the war trenches of instantly speaking with loved ones and even seeing their images on a mobile screen, that any soldier would have turned down this opportunity, but am merely pointing out that the option never existed.
It wasn't just the 'stiff upper lip' that prevailed at the time of the Second World War years, but rather a display of respect for the time, the person and the occasion; sadly a type of respect for one's fellow citizen which seems to have vanished today. So stop monkeying around and get off that blasted phone and rejoin life in the making, not the recording. I want to see you in person and not some image of you on a handset. I want some three-dimensional interaction with you, not some second-rate communication!"
Love and peace Bill xxx