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Times Record News, Wichita Falls, Texas, Judith McGinnis column [Times Record News, Wichita Falls, Texas :: ]
[June 12, 2014]

Times Record News, Wichita Falls, Texas, Judith McGinnis column [Times Record News, Wichita Falls, Texas :: ]

(Wichita Falls Times Record News (TX) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) June 12--They call it "Smartphone face." At least this is how a British cosmetic surgeon describes the effect of staring, head down, at a phone or pad hour upon hour, day after day until users begin to develop sagging jowls, double chins and "marionette lines," vertical creases from the edges of the mouth toward the chin.

Think Howdy Doody or Jeff Dunham's Walter.

Corrections can be made. "Chinterventions" with implants, Botox and liposuction are popular, but it has been suggested tech users lift the device out of their laps.

Chronic cellphone use, however, has been recognized as a product development area for other industries. What else could "emergency brake assist" or "collision mitigation" systems be about? Technology now allows certain BMW, Mercedes and Hyundai models to, if you happen to be paying more attention to Twitter feeds, stop the car before it plows into another vehicle.

In other words automakers have realized, despite having installed hands-off phone service and voice activated GPS monitors (with voice reply), the likelihood of someone being distracted enough they cannot see an 18-wheeler stalled in the road ahead, there needs to be a brains-off way of stopping the car.

While this may offer some relief to parents, for the rest of us it should be food for thought.

Why stop at Smartphone face? At it's youngest end we're talking about a generation that's making less and less eye contact and stunting crucial social interactions.

A friend who owns a driving school recently described the difference in teens years ago when she started to today.

Then teens were excited about getting their drivers licenses so they could run around with friends. Now, she says there's no such anticipation; they're content to text.

Cellphones, texting and social media aren't the devil. The devil is in their lure to restless minds, which sadly, are yearning to connect with something.

Something which often and to their detriment isn't really there.

___ (c)2014 the Times Record News (Wichita Fallas, Texas) Visit the Times Record News (Wichita Fallas, Texas) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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