Smartphones Destroy Empathy

 

When I’m at a social event, I never tell anyone I’m a doctor, because I don’t want to talk about medicine when I’m trying to relax.  But we went to a party last night in our neighborhood here in Hilton Head, and all our friends of course know what I do for a living.  So Mrs. Jones comes up to me and says she hurt her shoulder, and it’s not getting better, and what should she do about it?  I couldn’t just glare at her and leave, because I was in her house drinking her Scotch.  So I politely listened to her complaints.

But I didn’t answer.  I just pointed across the room:  “Why don’t you go ask Bob?  He’s an orthopedic surgeon.  Surely he’d know more about this than me.  I’m just a humble primary care doc.”  Her face lit up, she thanked me, and she hustled right over to Bob, who had been enjoying her Scotch until that moment.  She started talking to him, he smiled at her, and then he looked across the room at me and gave me the stink eye.  I smiled and raised my glass to him.  I’m a giver.

There are a few reasons I deferred.  First of all, I really try to avoid giving medical advice to people who aren’t my patients.  I don’t know the case, I don’t know the background – that’s an easy way to say something stupid.  Second, it’s true, Bob would know more about this than me.  As it happens, her condition is one with which I have a lot of experience, and I probably could have answered her question.  But Bob is obviously more qualified.  And the third reason is that I try to avoid looking like a fool.  What if I answer, then she asks Bob, he gives a different answer, and I look like a fool?  No.  I try to avoid looking like a fool.  But then Tom came over, struck up a conversation with me, and proved that not everyone tries to avoid looking like a fool.

Tom is an airline pilot who has developed an interest in nutritional supplements, essential oils, acupuncture, and God knows what else.  At a party last year, he said that curing MS was easy by altering your diet and taking high dose vitamins or something, and that doctors knew this, and that they refused to use this cure because they couldn’t profit from it.

So, I inferred, apparently my job is to earn money by intentionally killing people.

I blew up in his face.  Great entertainment for everyone.  My wife guided me out the door.  Forcefully.  Holy crap I was angry.

I apologized to him the next time I saw him.  I don’t think he recognized what a profound insult that was to someone like me, who believes that he serves God by devoting his life to healing the sick.  Or at least doing the very best I can.  Tom was just chatting about his hobby.  To me, this is no hobby.

So I made nice, and we moved on.

On the other hand, the only way that Tom would not recognize what a profound insult that would be to me is that he lacks empathy.  He can’t see things from anyone’s perspective other than his own, so he didn’t realize that what seemed like a casual statement to him would come across as a vicious attack to me.  I’m sure he was surprised when I jumped down his throat.

If you lack empathy, other people become mysterious creatures.  ‘What’s wrong with these people?  Can’t they see the truth?’

Anyway, so Tom sits down next to me last night.  I immediately start saying to myself, over and over, “…don’tsayanythingdon’tsayanythingdon’tsayanything…” as Tom starts to talk.

He talked about COVID.  Now, if someone is a big enough conspiracy theorist to honestly believe that doctors are intentionally killing MS patients for profit, you can imagine what he thinks of the COVID mess.  He’s an anti-vaxxer, and he spent 30 minutes telling me the dangers of the COVID vaccines.

Now, these vaccines are new, and perhaps we’ll discover problems as we go forward.  I think they’re probably a good idea, but honestly I’m not really sure yet.  Just like on most other topics, the more I read the less I know for sure.  And I’ve read a lot on this topic.  It’s just too soon to say.  I think it will be years before we really know if the vaccines were a good idea.  I think they are.  Probably.  But we’ll see…

Which brings me back to my conversation with the lady with the bad shoulder.  I was reluctant to answer her question, because I knew there was someone in the room that knew more about it than me, and if he somehow became involved in our conversation, I might look stupid.  So I shut my trap and deferred to the guy who has spent his life studying the question at hand.

That was not Tom’s approach last night.  He sat right down next to someone who he knows does this for a living, and gives a 30-minute dissertation on something that he knows very little about.  An amateur telling an expert how to do his job.  And he seemed perfectly comfortable doing so.  Tom did not ask me a single question.  He lectured me.  About my field.  He wasn’t concerned about me publicly pointing out that he was wrong.  Because he knew he wasn’t wrong.  He believes.

Or, perhaps, he lacks sufficient empathy to understand that there may be perspectives other than his own which may have some validity.

It would be like me telling him how to fly a plane.  Ok, maybe I’ve flown a Cessna before.  Maybe I read about aviation as a hobby.  But he flies passenger jets for a living.  Why would I try to tell him how to fly a plane?  Why would that thought even cross my mind?  “You know what I’m going to do at this party?  I’m going to go over there and tell that pilot how to fly a plane.  This should be fun!”

Why would I do that?

As I sat there trying to be nice, it occurred to me that Tom wasn’t exactly lecturing to me.  He was preaching.  He was preaching with the confidence of someone preaching to the choir.  Because in his world, everyone is in the choir.  They all believe.  Which got me to thinking about smartphones and social media.

Tom may have been the only one in the room last year that actually believed that doctors intentionally kill people for profit.  And he was probably surprised that I reacted to his casual comment with such hostility.

He was surprised because he hangs out on websites that confirm his biases.  He’s the only one in the room who thinks that, but he can pull out his iPhone and instantly connect with a virtual room full of like-minded individuals.  And that’s where he lives.  So his occasional excursions out into the real world probably feel sort of odd.  ‘What’s wrong with these people?  Can’t they see the truth?’

Politics is getting more and more tribal and hostile because we’re no longer fellow Americans discussing tax policy or immigration laws or something.  We identify more and more with smaller and smaller subgroups online to such an extent that we’re losing the ability to communicate, and more importantly to empathize, with nearly anyone else.

So every debate just turns into a shouting match.  Even if it’s about something as boring as scientific research.

I’m convinced that Tom is a nice person, and he means well.  He’s just so far down some rabbit hole that he can’t even see out anymore.  That describes a lot of Americans, these days.

We’re losing the ability to see things from the perspective of others.  We’re losing empathy.

Is it possible that smartphones are destroying our society by destroying our empathy?  What if that’s true?  What should we do?

I love my smartphone.  I really do.  But I’m starting to think they’re dangerous.

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  1. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Well, I don’t think it is the smart phone causing any of what you describe.

    • #1
  2. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    Dr. Bastiat: I couldn’t just glare at her and leave, because I was in her house drinking her Scotch.  So I politely listened to her complaints.

    First things first. How long was the scotch aged? 12 year old gets the hostess a look of concern and a compassionate head nod. 18 year old gets her a 15 minute discussion of the origins of the pain and the inquisitive 1 to 10 pain scale question with a promise to send her a referral ortho dude when you get back in the office. Oh, it also gets the good doctor another pour.

    • #2
  3. Brian Wyneken Member
    Brian Wyneken
    @BrianWyneken

    Dr. Bastiat:

    . . . Tom is an airline pilot . . .

    No more need be said (from the perspective of a navigator).

    O.K., I guess that wasn’t very nice of me, but I had 30+years of “Tom” so perhaps I can be excused a bit. To the point of your OP and “Tom,” my sense is that the issue has a smart phone component, but note there is a voluminous collection of pilot jokes that essentially zero in on a lack of empathy, and most of those jokes very much pre-date the emergence of the cell phone. But, a pilot armed with a smart phone – agh!

    Without the connections the internet provides, combined with the ability to cull the associations therein, in earlier times prudence required a lot more day to day humility. But, we still had know-it-all teenagers, the perpetually bumptious, and airline pilots. I do agree with the concern in your OP to the extent that tendencies to lecture have increased, across generations (and it’s not just the people who have only known a world with internet) since we starting carrying these “answer machines” around with us. I certainly see this in myself.

    • #3
  4. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter
    @JimmyCarter

    Dr. Bastiat: Is it possible that smartphones are destroying our society by destroying our empathy? 

    It’s nothing new:

     

    • #4
  5. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    Dr. Bastiat: Is it possible that smartphones are destroying our society by destroying our empathy?  What if that’s true?  What should we do? 

    Empathy, and a lack thereof, have been around a lot longer than cell phones. You’re just fine Doc, enjoy your little hand computer. I know you will use it wisely. Now, if you really had the heft, you could just cancel this guy, Tom. But then, you’d lose the subject of your post, and that really sucks!

    • #5
  6. Doug Kimball Thatcher
    Doug Kimball
    @DougKimball

    I have issues with smart phones, tablets, PCs, but smart phones are the worst as their distraction is infinitely portable.  This thing is insidious and addictive.  On the 19th hole, I literally have to nearly slap my buddies away from their phones to order a drink!  There should be rules, no cell phones at meals, in bars, restaurants or at the golf course.  However, insular, conspiratorial, shallow thinking is more of a universal problem.  Remember, the worst kind of ignorant person is the one who believes he knows more and is smarter than everyone else.  He is too stupid to realize he himself is the fool and when he senses that others might object to his arguments, he increases the force and volume.  He is a boor, and they’ve been around a long time.  Cell phones just provide him with unreliable facts and theories to add to his repertoire.

    • #6
  7. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    There may be a few lawyers who are Ricochet members and who might be offended when I generalize about lawyers being the leaders behind much of government overreaching and corruption. This can be applied to many, maybe even most, professions when the professional roles are intertwined with government. What causes this? Things like smart phones and internet are simply instruments that allow access to any information, at any time and place. When individuals are constantly engaged, empathy is hard to come by.

    • #7
  8. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat: Is it possible that smartphones are destroying our society by destroying our empathy?

    It’s nothing new:

     

    No, when I grew up people would stand in a line and talk to one another.  And newspapers don’t ring so that you have to answer them in the middle of a conversation.

    • #8
  9. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    I was just laughing when I read the beginning of your post. My husband wanted to know what I was laughing at, so I told him. “Our Dr. Bastiat was at a party, and I think he had too much bourbon, and someone told him ‘doctors were in it just for the money.’ He lost it, and his wife had to get him out of the party.” :-) My husband said, “Not too much bourbon. Not enough.” :-) :-)

    • #9
  10. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Brian Wyneken (View Comment):
    O.K., I guess that wasn’t very nice of me, but I had 30+years of “Tom” so perhaps I can be excused a bit. To the point of your OP and “Tom,” my sense is that the issue has a smart phone component, but note there is a voluminous collection of pilot jokes that essentially zero in on a lack of empathy, and most of those jokes very much pre-date the emergence of the cell phone. But, a pilot armed with a smart phone – agh!

    Fact check, from the standpoint of an engineer who has participated in test flight debriefs: True.

    • #10
  11. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    MarciN (View Comment):
    Not too much bourbon. Not enough.

    It’s surprisingly difficult to tell the difference sometimes…

    • #11
  12. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    I don’t know if smartphones lead to a lack of empathy, but they definitely  lead to what I call “Expert in my Pocket Syndrome.”  They cause people to show up on social networking sites and say things like “I never heard of any of this until five minutes ago, but I just read it on Wikipedia, and I think it’s the most brilliant thing ever . . .” and then launch into a blizzard of inanity, incoherence, and falsehood that defies belief and to which one (usually) can’t even find the logical entry point (because there isn’t one) at which to come in with an opposing or rational view.

    Great post. 

    • #12
  13. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    I doubt Tom’s confidence is evidence of an echo chamber. Rather, he reads or listens to quite a lot before sharing what he has “learned”. Then he shares it with loved ones and associates who are used to it and nod along so not to prolong the topic, or because they are of personalties which prefer lack of conflict to truth, or they don’t feel qualified to respond, or they argued back and Tom quickly forgot their objections, etc, etc.  

    In other words, personalities and plain old human nature can explain a lot. Similar interactions were probably very common many decades ago. 

    But there have been big cultural shifts. 

    One change is the disintegration of information and opinions. It has been a long time since the Big 3 networks monopolized TV news and every newspaper got its headlines from The New York Times. Previous centuries enjoyed and suffered similar conformity of information. We have entered an age of chaos. (Consequently, no one should be surprised by movements to over-correct via censorship and exclusion.) 

    Another big change is the ease and abundance by which information and claims are gathered. If you have an interest, even a fleeting curiosity, a hundred articles or videos are at your fingertips — free and immediate. A person can dive down the rabbit hole and accumulate many ideas before sharing those ideas with anyone, online or offline. One can become deeply set in a view before that view is challenged. 

    Add to this super-abundance of information and self-help guides (Conservatives encourage self-reliance, right?) an often reasonable distrust of experts. Physicians regularly disagree with each other even when political interference does not incentivize particular outcomes. Advocacy of anthropogenic global warming theory has become practically a job requirement for many scientific professions. Major corporations do conspire with governments against smaller companies. Construction and other specialty contracts are awarded by government for ethnicity and other accidentals, rather than expertise. Amid such skepticism, it’s hard to blame people for weighing their own research and advise from neighbors against professional prescriptions. 

    The situation is unlikely to improve anytime soon. Buckle up. 

    • #13
  14. DJ EJ Member
    DJ EJ
    @DJEJ

    Why don’t you go ask Bob?  He’s an orthopedic surgeon.  Surely he’d know more about this than me.  I’m just a humble primary care doc.”

    This response struck me as the one thing I never hear Dr. Fauci say, probably because he lacks humility. He’s never treated one COVID-19 patient and yet he never defers to other doctors that have over this last year and a half treated hundreds of coronavirus patients and developed successful treatment protocols in the process. I know otherwise smart people who quote Fauci and repeat his name over and over again like a mantra or magic spell. Whatever happened to, at the very least, getting a second opinion?

    • #14
  15. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    DJ EJ (View Comment):

    Why don’t you go ask Bob? He’s an orthopedic surgeon. Surely he’d know more about this than me. I’m just a humble primary care doc.”

    This response struck me as the one thing I never hear Dr. Fauci say, probably because he lacks humility. He’s never treated one COVID-19 patient and yet he never defers to other doctors that have over this last year and a half treated hundreds of coronavirus patients and developed successful treatment protocols in the process. I know otherwise smart people who quote Fauci and repeat his name over and over again like a mantra or magic spell. Whatever happened to, at the very least, getting a second opinion?

    That’s the word.  It seems more a lack of humility than empathy.

    But commercial pilots are type-A anyway aren’t they?  Defiant.  Breaking the law of gravity.  Landing a plane like everyone’s lives depended on it.  Maybe they need to have tremendous confidence in themselves.

    • #15
  16. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    DJ EJ (View Comment):

    Why don’t you go ask Bob?  He’s an orthopedic surgeon.  Surely he’d know more about this than me.  I’m just a humble primary care doc.”

    This response struck me as the one thing I never hear Dr. Fauci say, probably because he lacks humility.

    The lack of humility is a dangerous quality in a doctor.  Dangerous.

    Probably in other professions, too, I suppose.


    But this is the most difficult aspect of being a good physician, in my view.  You need sufficient arrogance to be willing to take people’s lives in your hand, but sufficient humility to remain perpetually cognizant of the fact that you may be wrong, and you need to consider other possibilities besides that which seems obvious to you.

    Very tricky stuff…

    • #16
  17. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    It’s the existence of pediatricians that astounds me the most. For the life of me, I can’t imagine assuming the responsibility for someone else’s child. It boggles my mind. 

    • #17
  18. Muleskinner, Weasel Wrangler Member
    Muleskinner, Weasel Wrangler
    @Muleskinner

    Dr. Bastiat:

    We’re losing the ability to see things from the perspective of others.  We’re losing empathy.

    Is it possible that smartphones are destroying our society by destroying our empathy?  What if that’s true?  What should we do? 

    I love my smart phone.  I really do.  But I’m starting to think they’re dangerous.

    I’ve been wondering for a long time if the problem is entirely digital technology. We talk less and communicate more in bursts of written characters, so we almost entirely lose the context. The problem is that so much understanding is conveyed in the tone of voice, facial expression, and all of those other clues that help us interpret meaning, that we’re losing the ability to communicate clearly. It is one thing to communicate a set of facts, and another to communicate meaning. 

    We’re stuffing analog life into a digital frame and wonder why we’re misunderstood. The shutdowns and masking just put this problem into overdrive. Throwing facts around without considering meaning is probably the expected result of having all of the “facts” in the world at your fingertips, but almost none of the experience necessary to know what they really mean. Or how we are understood by someone else. 

    • #18
  19. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Talking about killing for profit, one of the pastors of a church I attended was a drug rep.  I don’t think he wanted anyone dead.  But the higher you get within a large corporation it seems the more loss of life is tolerable.  The famous example was the Pinto, in which — I don’t know who exactly, but it was a conjunction of lawyers, accountants and executives — it was determined that the poor design and placement of the gas tank would (or could) lead to deaths but that the cost of litigating was less than the cost of redesigning, retooling, and missing their roll-out date.

    • #19
  20. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    Muleskinner, Weasel Wrangler (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat:

    We’re losing the ability to see things from the perspective of others. We’re losing empathy.

    Is it possible that smartphones are destroying our society by destroying our empathy? What if that’s true? What should we do?

    I love my smart phone. I really do. But I’m starting to think they’re dangerous.

    I’ve been wondering for a long time if the problem is entirely digital technology. We talk less and communicate more in bursts of written characters, so we almost entirely lose the context. The problem is that so much understanding is conveyed in the tone of voice, facial expression, and all of those other clues that help us interpret meaning, that we’re losing the ability to communicate clearly. It is one thing to communicate a set of facts, and another to communicate meaning.

    We’re stuffing analog life into a digital frame and wonder why we’re misunderstood. The shutdowns and masking just put this problem into overdrive. Throwing facts around without considering meaning is probably the expected result of having all of the “facts” in the world at your fingertips, but almost none of the experience necessary to know what they really mean. Or how we are understood by someone else.

    You make several brilliant points in these two paragraphs…

    • #20
  21. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Muleskinner, Weasel Wrangler (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat:

    We’re losing the ability to see things from the perspective of others. We’re losing empathy.

    Is it possible that smartphones are destroying our society by destroying our empathy? What if that’s true? What should we do?

    I love my smart phone. I really do. But I’m starting to think they’re dangerous.

    I’ve been wondering for a long time if the problem is entirely digital technology. We talk less and communicate more in bursts of written characters, so we almost entirely lose the context. The problem is that so much understanding is conveyed in the tone of voice, facial expression, and all of those other clues that help us interpret meaning, that we’re losing the ability to communicate clearly. It is one thing to communicate a set of facts, and another to communicate meaning.

    We’re stuffing analog life into a digital frame and wonder why we’re misunderstood. The shutdowns and masking just put this problem into overdrive. Throwing facts around without considering meaning is probably the expected result of having all of the “facts” in the world at your fingertips, but almost none of the experience necessary to know what they really mean. Or how we are understood by someone else.

    Yeah, you can’t touch them, smell, them or see their eyes.  The reader becomes less real, less tangible than the words, the font, or the meme.

    • #21
  22. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    Muleskinner, Weasel Wrangler (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat:

    We’re losing the ability to see things from the perspective of others. We’re losing empathy.

    Is it possible that smartphones are destroying our society by destroying our empathy? What if that’s true? What should we do?

    I love my smart phone. I really do. But I’m starting to think they’re dangerous.

    I’ve been wondering for a long time if the problem is entirely digital technology. We talk less and communicate more in bursts of written characters, so we almost entirely lose the context. The problem is that so much understanding is conveyed in the tone of voice, facial expression, and all of those other clues that help us interpret meaning, that we’re losing the ability to communicate clearly. It is one thing to communicate a set of facts, and another to communicate meaning.

    We’re stuffing analog life into a digital frame and wonder why we’re misunderstood. The shutdowns and masking just put this problem into overdrive. Throwing facts around without considering meaning is probably the expected result of having all of the “facts” in the world at your fingertips, but almost none of the experience necessary to know what they really mean. Or how we are understood by someone else.

    You make several brilliant points in these two paragraphs…

    Yes. I learned long ago that there’s a world of difference between knowledge and wisdom.

    • #22
  23. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards
    @VanceRichards

    Dr. Bastiat: At a party last year, he said that curing MS was easy by altering your diet and taking high dose vitamins or something, and that doctors knew this, and that they refused to use this cure because they couldn’t profit from it. 

    I have seen the clickbait links about things doctors or big pharma don’t want you to know about but I always thought it was just that, clickbait. There are plenty of health issues out there that curing one thing won’t put anyone out of business.

    • #23
  24. BillJackson Coolidge
    BillJackson
    @BillJackson

    I have a slightly different take: It’s the lack of ability to be bored that brings our lack of empathy.

    (Smartphones play a role because they can distract you and instantly entertain.)

    Disclaimer: I am not the most empathetic person, but I’m trying to be as I get older. The one benefit of being canceled is it gave me time to reflect, go to therapy and say “Yeah … I can see why people got tired of me.” So I don’t want to come across as if I am preaching.

    To my premise: I used to fly a lot for work, and so I’d end up stuck in airports, anxious to get home, stressed from the countless work emails and … also just bored. When it got to be too much, I’d look around. I’d imagine, “What kind of house does that guy have?” or “Does this person work two jobs?” or I’d think about what my Mom and Dad were doing right at that moment … or any number of random things other than myself. Which would seem to be a small step toward empathy.

    But if people can’t deal with being bored, they will reach for the instant gratification of the phone, and the phone only reflects them. 

     

    • #24
  25. Chuck Thatcher
    Chuck
    @Chuckles

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):
    Not too much bourbon. Not enough.

    It’s surprisingly difficult to tell the difference sometimes…

    You just need more practice.

    • #25
  26. RPD Member
    RPD
    @RPD

    So Cliff Klavin learned to fly.

    • #26
  27. Muleskinner, Weasel Wrangler Member
    Muleskinner, Weasel Wrangler
    @Muleskinner

    BillJackson (View Comment):

    I have a slightly different take: It’s the lack of ability to be bored that brings our lack of empathy.

    (Smartphones play a role because they can distract you and instantly entertain.)

    Twenty years, or more, ago, I predicted that cell phones would be nearly universal, on the theory that most people are afraid to be alone with their own thoughts. 

     

    • #27
  28. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    BillJackson (View Comment):

    I have a slightly different take: It’s the lack of ability to be bored that brings our lack of empathy.

    (Smartphones play a role because they can distract you and instantly entertain.)

    Disclaimer: I am not the most empathetic person, but I’m trying to be as I get older. The one benefit of being canceled is it gave me time to reflect, go to therapy and say “Yeah … I can see why people got tired of me.” So I don’t want to come across as if I am preaching.

    To my premise: I used to fly a lot for work, and so I’d end up stuck in airports, anxious to get home, stressed from the countless work emails and … also just bored. When it got to be too much, I’d look around. I’d imagine, “What kind of house does that guy have?” or “Does this person work two jobs?” or I’d think about what my Mom and Dad were doing right at that moment … or any number of random things other than myself. Which would seem to be a small step toward empathy.

    But if people can’t deal with being bored, they will reach for the instant gratification of the phone, and the phone only reflects them.

    Very good points.  There’s bored, there’s normal, and there’s the need for hyperstimulation.  I tend to think that people today have altered brain  neurotransmitter function that requires them to be constantly stimulated or else get agitated or more or less depressed.

    • #28
  29. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Muleskinner, Weasel Wrangler (View Comment):

    BillJackson (View Comment):

    I have a slightly different take: It’s the lack of ability to be bored that brings our lack of empathy.

    (Smartphones play a role because they can distract you and instantly entertain.)

    Twenty years, or more, ago, I predicted that cell phones would be nearly universal, on the theory that most people are afraid to be alone with their own thoughts.

    I’m reading novels now written about the time of the advent of cars.  In them the impression they give is that county life is too boring, but tolerable with a car to get you to town or the city whenever you want.  Perhaps being alone with your own thoughts is uncomfortable,  but I think we’ve gone beyond that now to needing to be constantly entertained.

    Added: And come to think of it, isn’t most of twitter and what the left-following crowd does really little more than entertainment?  Perhaps even the righteous indignation they rouse within themselves is nothing more than entertainment, as in filling the void.

    • #29
  30. Addiction Is A Choice Member
    Addiction Is A Choice
    @AddictionIsAChoice

    “I believe a stronger sense of empathy would tilt the balance of our current politics in favor of those people who are struggling in this society”

    The Left is always calling for more empathy because they themselves have none.

    • #30