Spoiler alert: I am not infallible. Being raised Catholic, we assigned that distinction to the Pope. In my day the Pope was ‘infallible, period’ not merely ‘infallible in church matters’. If my childhood Pope had been viewing a parade from the third row back from the curb and wanted to improve his view he needed only to fill a bucket with water and stand on it.
Being as prone to error as any ordinary person, I am confident that the Cardinals will never send up the white smoke in my behalf. And on that, what’s up with only allowing the Cardinals to select the top guy. Would it not be more interesting if they allowed the Yankees or the Dodgers to weigh in? Maybe even the Astros. But I digress.
I do not own a smart phone. My Huawei 345 flip phone barely qualifies as semi-literate.This is a choice I have made. For me a telephone is a device, as its name implies (tele-far, phone-sound), for establishing communication with some other person, at a distance and at my convenience. I am not a total troglodyte, I will also use it to send and receive text messages but feel no need to be wired into the universe, 24/7. Again, I stray into the weeds. Back to the point.
At a recent social gathering someone dropped the final straw onto the camel’s back. I had the ‘floor’ and was making a point about current events in Europe when a trio of smart phones flashed into operation. With a speed that would have held Wyatt Earp in awe, the devices were drawn and fired. The group’s attention was diverted from where it should have been, on me, and silently focussed on the wielders of the smart phones while awaiting their verdict.
I don’t know how you might have felt but it did not please me to be fact checked in the middle of a conversation, in a social setting. In fact, I feel it was downright rude. The trio’s chorus of “he’s right” did nothing to assuage my feelings. When invited to continue my point I merely said, “sorry, I forgot where I was going. Google it.”
I realize that the digital age has altered the social compact and, as stated above, I am prone to make the occasional error. So I submit this to the blogo-sphere at large, am I overreacting to something that is, or soon will be, a new societal norm? Should we expect conversational delays while someone in the group verifies what we are saying? And, if it has come to this, should we not designate one member of the group to be the official fact checker, thus saving time and eliminating possible conflicts?