Which begs the question: Might today's teens and young twenty-somethings, finding themselves over-shared with every person they know (along with hundreds more people they don't really know at all) sometimes wish they weren't so informed and informed about?
A few weeks ago I saw a really good movie called "While We're Young".
The point of that scene, I believe, was to suggest that, while older people who came of age before the internet now delight in having all knowledge at their fingertips, members of the younger generation who've grown up saturated in available information about everyone and everything in the universe are thirsting for a little less knowledge.
In truth I didn't give much thought to that movie scene until a few days later when I happened to be telling my nephew Randy, a 28-year-old IT wizard, about my 40th high school reunion a few years ago.
I was telling him how after high school I left my home town of Philadelphia to go to college in Dayton Ohio, the exotic American Midwest to me who'd never been on a plane or knew much of anything about any place west of West Philly.
Anyway, after I left home for college, probably from being caught up in the wonder of being in a new environment surrounded by new people and immersed in new experiences, I soon ceased communicating with all my friends and classmates from my all-girls' high school.
After college I worked in Germany for 3 years, then lived in Louisville, Kentucky for a few years before finally settling in Columbus, Ohio.
One day almost forty years after my high school graduation my mother called to tell me that one of my high school classmates had called her trying to get in touch with me to invite me to our 40th high school reunion.
I went to the reunion and made a delightful re-connection with these women who, the last time I saw them, were young girls on the threshold of life. Now all of sudden here they were again, much older versions of themselves, yet still themselves, each with the same expressions and mannerisms, same laughs, same smiles, same styles, but all grown up now with husbands and partners, adult children and grandchildren of their own, with careers, vocations, and life stories that lay yet in the mysteries of their futures the last time I saw them. For me it was strange and wonderful, seeing what all these girls grew up to be. It felt magical, like being whisked into the future and the past at the same time.
After I told all this to my nephew he was silent for a moment. Then he said, "Man, I wish I could do something like that. Lose track of people for years, then have the fun of re-discovering them again. But that could never happen to people of my generation." He looked at his Smartphone and sighed, "everybody knows where everybody is and what everybody's doing all the time."
His words recalled to me the scene from "While We're Young", and I wondered if members of the younger generation will soon be longing in their souls to let go of something they couldn't stand to do without.