Summertime, and the livin' ain't easy anymore


Well, summer is finally here. We suffered through a very nasty winter, so the  months ahead of us should be relaxing and soothing. In the classic Broadway show “Porgy and Bess,” two characters sing about summertime, when “the livin’s easy.” But summertime these days is a lot different than in the past.

Once upon a time, before social media began its assault on our leisure time, you could sit on a lovely beach and read a book, or just enjoy watching the family having fun. Now, with Facebook, Instagram and many other diversions, we consume an enormous amount of time responding to friends and keeping up with the steady flow of comments and requests. Those fancy cell phones now make us reachable wherever we are.

I’ve been told that you can block out those annoying cell phone solicitations, but the system doesn’t work well. The people who want to sell you drugs have a way of skirting the law. The pesky caller tries to get you by calling from Texas, California, Rhode Island or some other location. Thinking it may be a relative, you answer the call, only to discover that the voice is probably coming from halfway around the world.

The latest phone scam I was exposed to involved a call from someone saying he was from Microsoft. He asks you to go to your computer and give him all types of information that would allow him to raid your bank account and steal your identity. For one fleeting moment I believed it was legitimate, and then I caught on to the fact that he was a fraud.

Once upon a time, you could block out the events of the world, the problems at home and the happenings of the day, but now they come at you through media alerts and emails as well as voice alerts. You can probably avoid some of these annoyances by powering down your cell phone, but then you cut yourself off from your family, friends and coworkers. The new age of communication has hooked us in the most unimaginable ways.

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