Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Addiction of Bent Neck Syndrome

There is a self inflicted highly addictive syndrome out there. A new scourge on the land.   I will call it (BNS) Bent Neck Syndrome. You won't find it reported in medical journals or on CNN, MSNBC or Fox "NEWS".  There are no vaccines. This syndrome that denies afflicted humans the subtle pleasures of nature is rampant in the cities of Oakland County. Sadly its insidious ways are now also infecting  and addicting youngsters and seniors. Walking the sidewalks of Birmigham, Rochester or Royal Oak on a sunny day leads one to believe it is contagious. Sadly the CDC has not said a word about BNS. Today, while hiking the isolated trails of Ortonville State Recreation Area a bit before sunset area I saw a pair of young hikers--they two were inflicted with BNS. Their bent neck hiking posture showed their affliction. They walked past my trailside boulder perch never noting my presence.  The syndrome is caused by walking and staring at your electronic hand held device as you pound the keys on your BlackBerry, Droid (or whatever you use) making you oblivious to everything  around you. Sales literature says those texting devices keeps you connected with your world. Verizon boast, "It's what lets you share your life!"  As far as I am concerned it disconnects you from your life: A world in the waning days of summer filled with  beauty, excitment and the subtle wonders of nature.  Fields of golden rod and purple aster. Blue skys. Pumpkins. Sparkling creeks. Storm clouds. Migrating monarchs. Zippy hummingbirds.  High flying geese and soaring turkey vultures. Maples and sassafras tinged with orange. Crickets on sidewalks. Frogs in ponds. Turtles sunning on trailside logs. Deer munching on apples. The call of sandhill cranes and the frantic alarm of a red squirrel. A dragonfly landing on a lawn ornament at sunset. Verizon (my carrier) says these devices are "The Stuff of Life."  Not in my book. Go for a walk and try it without your electronic device turned on. Can you? Might be as tough to do as it is for an alcoholic to smash the bottle or the heroin addict to break the needle. They too say they can stop any time.


Anonymous Judy said...

I agree !!!! It is sad to say that our "vision" of our surroundings has become so limited .. and the distraction is way out of control.. thank you for this blog which is an important reminder that it is time to start weaning ourselves off these devices and "see" what is important..
thanks for your blogs.. i read every one of them!!

September 16, 2010 at 8:41 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unfortunately this has not only affected people walking in Nature. We see it in stores, schools, church, and anywhere in between. You can barely have a conversation with a person these days without being interupted by a persons phone. Why the thought of just turning off that device would be like cutting off the blood supply to their heart. These days it seems that some parents are more in tuned with their device while their children occupy themselves standing in a line at a store. Whats wrong with living in the present and having that conversation with the person or people you are with? If your on a hike one would only assume you wouldn't want to miss the beauty of Nature! Thanks for the reminder.

September 16, 2010 at 9:02 AM 
Blogger Sandman said...

This hit the nail on the head. Wake up people and use your life, not staring at a screen. I carry a cell phone but it is turned off to not disturb me. When I need to use it I can turn it on again. I have no data plan.

September 16, 2010 at 10:59 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I unfortunately found myself afflicted with the syndrome too, as I was travelling north from the Carolinas through Virginia with an Ipad that my nephew lent us to play with on the journey. I had so much fun playing with the map programs and tracing our trip, that I forgot to look out the windows (I wasn't the driver) and see the gorgeous scenery we were driving through.

September 21, 2010 at 8:51 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is a sad state of mind to live in is it not. I have witnessed this dysfunctional activity (BNS) at many social gatherings and being that of a old school nature, still have a problem understanding why it is so important to be connected to so many things that truly do not have any influence on your life whatsoever. I guess I could have but a few more commas in there huh! LOL I do see more and more of those that are SO connected to their electronic toys, becoming more and more DISconnected with what really matters - nature & mankind.

October 28, 2010 at 10:47 PM 

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