I’ve been listening to You and Yours, well, specifically Call You and Yours from New Years Eve. Here’s the episode.

I felt I had to write about due to the sheer maddening ignorance of most of the callers. It’s tragic because there’s some excellent debate to be had on the costs and benefits of social media, its effect on development, social change, and so forth. Instead this episode is mostly HARP DARP YOUNG PPL.

Mothers who don’t seem to grasp that multiplayer gaming services are precisely that – multiplayer! They’re a way to talk to people and play with them. What, you input your credit card details and your children bought things? What did you think was going to happen?!

A college lecturer who seems to fear that young people can’t talk to each other any more. As it happens it seems that actually they’re just chatting via social media and deeper conversations take place in person. I was at school once and I opted out of that chatter. Knowing I could do that now without having to physically isolate myself warms my heart!

Then there’s the grumpy old man. Seriously. He even complained about music these days. His points were what infuriated me enough to write this

“How they can formulate any ideas and philosophies, especially when they’ve got those wires hanging out of their ears listening to…”

Well, you get the idea. It annoys me intensely to be told that I can’t have had any good ideas or have seen the beauty of the countryside because I was listening to music at the same time, or gods forbid an audiobook. If I didn’t have earphones in I would hear the clunking of the train’s machinery, the air conditioning, the occasional passenger talking, and..?

Speaking of talking to others, the caller laments the demise of conversation on board trains. This seems to be a case of short-sightedness to me. Was it not his generation who built the society in which strangers are viewed with suspicion? Who got paranoid about paedophiles and rapists?

The host, Julian Worricker, even points out that these days as people do not expect to be conversed with it can result in a “difficult social situation”. Perhaps the old man does not realise that whilst plenty of people are perfectly friendly others are actively hostile. Finding out which someone is generally isn’t worth the risk just to pass the time!

He also rejects the notion that someone could be reading something of any value on their portable device. Apparently if it’s not printed on a dead tree it has no intellectual value. Charming.

Wait a minute… Maybe he’s got a point…

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