While communication and gaming gadgets have convenienced and connected us in ways never before possible, they may also be profoundly hurting our ability to be social, empathic and involved with each other. The signs are everywhere — from the near collisions on city streets where drivers are too busy texting to pay attention to the virtual relationships on Facebook and the addiction to video games.
Just as I set foot into a busy intersection on Fifth Avenue in downtown Seattle, an SUV appears in the corner of my eye, and it's not slowing down.
As it speeds closer to the crosswalk, I notice the woman driving it has a mobile phone held to her ear. Does she even realize she's running a red light?
Suddenly, as if an alarm bell has gone off in her head, she slams on the breaks and stops so close to me I could reach out and tap on her driver's-side window. We lock faces. She's in shock. Her eyes widen with an "Oops, my bad" contrition.