Carroll Calling

Doug Carroll

Often I wonder about the youth and young adults of today’s so-called social media world. Are there any millennials out there who leave their cellphones or laptops long enough to carry on verbal social conversations with other humans?

What happens to anyone under 40 who has to move off the connected-every-second-of-the-day grid for a few minutes because their electronic devices are out of juice? During these cellphone or laptop timeouts, do their palms sweat, hearts race, hands shake, mouths dry, muscles tighten, heads bob, bodies weaken from dizzy spells or words stumble awkwardly from their lips?

Excuse me for a second while I fire up my laptop and go on the internet to ask Google for the answer. I will only be a minute depending on how the Carroll Castle Wi-Fi feels today.

Now where was I, dear readers?

Oh right, just the other day I watched a couple sitting at the same fast-food restaurant table munching on the latest burger creations without looking away from their cellphones. Nary a word did they speak to one another as I stood there 10 minutes waiting for my healthy choice salad.

Perhaps I need to give them the benefit of the doubt, that they texted each other at some point during the meal. Who knows, they might have been texting a vital conversation between themselves that possibly could solve all the world’s problems.

I, uh, wait just a minute, I have eight texts on my phone and three missed calls. I must take care of these right away so give me about a 10-minute break here to catch up.

Boy howdy am I glad I attended to all those calls and texts. I would have missed the latest email blast my dear wife registered me for from “Once Upon A Child” about its momentous Memorial Day sale on bibs, cribs and automobiles — Hot Wheels of course.

Now, as I was trying to point out, I never, oh, sorry, I just received a text under my Bobby Bare “Dropkick Me Jesus Through The Goalposts of Life” notification alert so this must be an emergency. Give me just a sec to take a peek.

I really need to adjust my cellphone notification sounds. This important column just got interrupted so I could download a 50-cents off coupon for my next two-gallon jug of Doc Lewis’ generic liquefied beano.

Let’s return to the topic at hand, err, I mean the keyboard.

There is no way I can be the only person in the Wabash Valley who has watched in bewilderment as teenagers ogling their cellphone screens walk into people, trees or the Rotary Point Fountain. I observed one kid riding a bike and gazing at his phone hit a curb, flip over, land on his bottom but never take his eyes off the screen.

Apparently some texts are much too vital to interject a smidgen of personal fear for life and limb.

A couple years ago I almost hit several cellphone users during the Pokémon Go craze that swept the world, and there is nothing funny about that, for sure. These cyber chasers strayed into streets and oncoming traffic without regard for anyone’s safety in their quests to capture the uber-valuable shiny icons Rock Throw Omastar, Psybeam Chansey or Chewbacca wearing a Speedo.

Whoa, would you look at that guys and dolls.

The virtual gurus at Facebook just notified me by cellphone that today is my great-great-grandmother Indiana Hartley Miller’s 168th birthday. Hey, now the Zuckerberg Zen masters have informed me three cyber friends living in my old Florida stomping grounds of Weeki Wachee Springs have invited me to a celebration later this summer to honor two of the original 1947 living mermaid performers.

This most definitely needs my immediate attention because I have not seen the underwater dancing mermaid show since I left Weeki Wachee 40 years ago. I will resume this column after I answer my Sunshine State peeps and check in to see how my other 1,147 Facebook friends are faring after Memorial Day.

Pardon me, but that took longer than I expected. I was checking my Google calendar to see if I could make the trip to Florida — sadly no mermaid merriment this year — when another Facebook alert popped up on my cellphone.

You sure can learn a lot from Facebook once you steer clear of the political cesspool of name-calling, bickering and whining. About the only fact I have yet to learn through Facebook is who let the dogs out.

Now that I look back on these words of wisdom, I might not be the best person to give a discourse to millennials or anyone for that matter about too much cellphone and internet usage.

However, I promise never to text and drive nor stay on my cellphone and ignore meal-time guests whether dining in a restaurant, Carroll Castle or someone else’s home.

Believe me, you will never see me walk and text at the same time either, since I still haven’t quite figured out that whole chewing gum thing.

It all could be worse, I suppose. At least I don’t Snapchat or Twitter.

Doug Carroll can be reached at

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