It’s those damned smartphones again! It seems no one has time to watch a full sporting event. Full length television of football, baseball, soccer, tennis and other major events is disappearing. Instead, viewers check out Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and Snapchat. Even the Super Bowl is at risk.
It may be hard to reconstruct for the busy young streamers but there was a time when the event, the getting together with family and friends, the actual driving, parking, ticket purchase, hot dogs and time spent cheering, booing and doing the wave was as important as the game – the entire, three-hour game! When the game was away, television was a true blessing; folks still gathered in homes, pubs and sports restaurants to watch the entire game.
This is a simple and clear example of the deep human price our culture is paying as it moves to an age born in the computer cloud.
Other acts of sports participation have disappeared. For example, most neighborhoods participated in adult softball leagues. The extracurricular activities were just as important as the games themselves. Sports used to be one of the major socialization events that mixed people together to form common ground, which fostered togetherness and acceptance of one another. Despite the rivalry and the boisterousness, common courtesy was practiced.
Time was, every neighborhood had a card club for poker, bridge and mah-jongg. The point is this: It is obvious today that serious activity in politics, business ethics, and international relations all are a bit stiff and awkward. It is difficult to behave within a sociable base of communication. Homo sapiens is a herd creature. Without a practiced herd behavior, we may as well be possums – just as long as we have our surreal smartphone.