Like Pollution


Beautiful day for a walk.

Bright, warm days always bring people out of the woodwork. That’s not necessarily a good thing because when they’re out there walking around, you can hear them talking. And since iPhones rule the world now, and people can talk aloud into speakers while wearing ear buds, one cannot help but hear their usually inane, frequently irritating conversations.


I was within earshot of one such woman for a matter of five minutes. I was walking behind her while she was happily talking to someone she cared about, then I passed her and walked ahead. In that five minutes, I counted the number of times she used the word, like. Ten times!

And I don’t mean in this sense: I like pizza.

More so, I, like, went up to him and, like, he was, like, so cute…

I finally found reprieve in my condo building but the only two people on the elevator were so engaged with their phones that they were like figures who have stared into the eyes of Medusa. They may not have been saying anything aloud, but they resembled zombies.

Which is an interesting observation: that the sudden zombie revitalization seems to have corresponded with the increase in technology.

I wrote a short story about the observation but the judges at the Toronto Star Short Story Contest didn’t seem as excited as I about it.

This is what’s on my mind a lot, a question that is not original only to me: is social media making people less intelligent?

Some people would say no but if you can catch their attention, you might be able to ask them why and have an astute conversation about it.


About randycoates

Randy Coates graduated from the University of Waterloo with a bachelor of arts degree and went on to acquire his teacher’s certificate at the University of Western Ontario. He is currently an elementary teacher in the Toronto District Board of Education.
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