Using some new tools

On a personal basis, we have been slow to adopt ties to social media.

We readily admit that Facebook and Twitter are valuable business tools, that likes and thumbs up can direct customers to a company.

But it remains alarming to us how many folks are addicted to their phones, tablets and computers. Tales of distracted driving are downright scary. We witnessed one fellow drive a golf cart into a tree while scanning something on a cellphone.

And just because you have a hands-free setup in your car, don’t assume that immunizes from the simple distraction of carrying on a conversation while driving. A family member blew right through a stop sign while chatting on a “Bluetooth” connected phone.

Every day we see what can only be referred to as distracted walking. Take a stroll through the mall and watch all the people bumping into each other as they try to maneuver to the stores while checking posts from friends and family.

We remember being amazed at a Christmas party a couple of years ago where other attendees were busy posting pictures of the event to Facebook. It can only be surmised that taking the pictures and posting them were a lot of fun because they were too busy to actually talk to the other folks at the party.

That said, though, we are starting to have some appreciation for personal use of social media. Perhaps having a first grandchild has something to do with the newfound fondness. There is nothing like a daily dose of 20 or so new pictures from a proud mother to melt the heart of even the grumpiest of old men.

Social media has created a revolution. The ability to instantly contact a family member thousands of miles away to share a pleasant moment is truly a priceless invention.

We just need to learn to use the devices associated with this revolution safely and judiciously. There is no reason to allow the distraction of a post or a phone call to put other lives in jeopardy. We shouldn’t isolate ourselves from those around us through an obsession with social media.

Keeping those guidelines in mind, we look forward to thousands of pictures of our grandson. This old dog is learning new tricks.

A version of this editorial has appeared previously in The Maui News.

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.