Arizona Views: Put down the cell phone, participate!

September 30, 2018

It is a strange thing: people expressing their opinions about government issues that can affect their communities — but they do not attend the hearings.

I see it quite a lot through social media, such as Facebook.

The site, which began as a haven for young people that is now more for their parents (the kids have moved on to Snapchat, Instagram and others), regularly sees posts and comments from people who love, like or hate things.

Still, we have the public hearings at which our elected leaders make the decisions. While a good number of people will attend public meetings, the chambers would be bursting at the seams if everyone — who cared or had something to say — attended.

Social media is a good way to share family photos; however, I can live without seeing what you had for dinner or all those memes (images with text over them, making jokes or statements).

I have to wonder, though, where would we be if social media did not exist? I found out this week when my phone, let’s say, locked up (it would not update apps and they became unusable). It had become only a … phone.

I went through iPhone withdrawal symptoms; anxious because I was not “connected” when I wanted to be. Before I reset the phone, I realized I merely needed to get out and — get this — talk with people. Face to face. Technology has corrupted us. Get to the meetings and give your opinions in person.

Tim Wiederaenders, a former Lake Havasu City resident, is community editor for the Prescott Daily Courier.

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