Saved by the bad apples

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Gary Tetz
Gary Tetz

Personal phone technology is creating headaches for long-term care facilities, as a few dumb staff with the judgment and moral clarity of hamsters continue to ruin it for the rest of us.

With every demeaning social media post of an unflattering resident photo or video, they compromise patient dignity, risk arrests and fines, create legal and public relations nightmares for providers and make the entire profession look bad.

No wonder a lot of places now ban the mere presence of cell phones in resident areas. One attorney I read said, “Simply put, mobile devices should not be on the floor; they are a distraction, and people will use — and misuse — them.”

See the trouble a few bad apples can cause? We should despise these people — and in a weird way, also thank them.

Not for what they did — because there's no excuse, ever, for the abuses they commit. But inadvertently, these idiots are causing a badly needed course correction in the role technology plays in our lives.

As a result of rules forbidding phones in the workplace, maybe we're finally going to get a little break from the tyranny of our devices. Just in time, too — before our hearts wither and our brains explode.

As humans, we need quiet time to do interior work, but we don't get it. In every conversational lull or stimulus-deprived nanosecond, we reach shaky hands for a phone to stare at.

At my gym recently, a clueless guy even brought his iPhone into the steam room, where the pulsating jets of scalding vapor were powerless against the thumping workout track. Maybe his electronics won't corrode, but I'm pretty sure his soul will.

That's the problem — technology is instinctive now, an addiction. We're like horses in the feed room, gorging ourselves on stimuli until we burst.

So let's pause a moment to sincerely thank all those thoughtless, selfish, photo-posting losers in long-term care for making such restrictive personal device policies necessary — and for saving our lives.