Nick Hoover

Take a stroll down any walkway on campus, and you’re likely to see most people knee-deep into a song on their iPod, or negotiating their next social move on their camera phone.

If not, there are also the discreet few who use the James Bond earpiece with their phones, providing the ultimate in undercover communication.

Your next mission is to say “hello” to someone.

The person you’re querying isn’t really there – they’re in some far away place where they don’t have to owe up to the responsibility of being a normal citizen.

I’m all for keeping in touch or listening to a good song ” but what happened to being people? The art of communication is dying in the wake of technology.

Apple’s standard iPods hold around 10,000 songs and the Cupertino-based computer company’s Web site teases consumers with “starting at only $299.” Remember when those Reebok air-pump shoes only cost $35? A few hundred dollars is a small price to pay for reducing your human interaction to just a few smiles because you can’t hear anything above that fine 50 Cent song.

“Cutting down on human interaction ruins our social structure. It will be a sad day when all the friends you have are just the names collected on your Facebook list,” said Adam Smith of the Virginia Tech Collegiate Times. “What happens when our children are unwilling to deal with people face-to-face, because they’ve been brought up in an age where technology allows them to bypass human interaction?”

Here, two students walk through the University Union completely oblivious to the outside world. The headphones in their ears are like invisible shields, protecting the owner from the devastation of yet another 10 minutes of mild silence.

Life is a beautiful thing. There are so many natural wonders in San Luis Obispo that many of us have never seen. So this weekend, try this: put the iPod away, don’t drink and try exploring the finer areas that this county has to offer.

Before you know it, that iPod will cost two times as much, the Facebook will start charging monthly fees and your Cal Poly tuition will be based off of current gas prices. At least you’ll be able to find serenity in the free things that life provides.

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