I just attended the APA meeting in Honolulu. One day I got in a little pool time. Sitting in an idyllic Hawaiian setting, on a perfect day, I glanced around and noticed about half the people at the pool were talking on cell phones. I pass people on the street walking with their children but gossiping with friends on the phone. Pet owners often miss out on the joy of play with their furry companion in favor of seemingly trivial chatter. Climbing Diamondhead outside of Honolulu, I reached the top, marveled at the site (and caught my breath), and had to step around distracted people on their cell phones. Let’s not even touch the subject of distracted driving.
I love many of the advances modern technology has brought us—including the ability to keep in touch across miles, to reach out to loved ones through satellite communications and so many electronic formats. But moments of intimacy, awe, play, solitude, and quiet are vital to our souls. Let’s not drown them out with noise.
-Alan J. Gelenberg, M.D.
Editor, Biological Therapies in Psychiatry
Shively/Tan Professor and Chair, Psychiatry, Penn State University
Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Clinical Psychiatry