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A lot of snow, but no shovelers

A child appeared unenthusiastic about shoveling snow.

Globe file

A child appeared unenthusiastic about shoveling snow.

WHENEVER IT snowed back in the 1950s, my mom would shoo me out the door to shovel Mrs. Coulter’s driveway. Mrs. Coulter was an elderly lady who lived alone in a big house down the road from our place.

She may have thanked me with cookies and a glass of milk, or she may have slipped me a dollar — I’m not sure. What I do remember was the satisfaction I got from helping her.

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Fast forward to the snowstorms of 2014, when not a single young person in the neighborhood dropped by my house to offer assistance.

A friend of mine, whose two sons attend college, recently confided that she was concerned about the amount of time her boys spent glued to their iPhones during Christmas vacation.

When television sets became popular in the early 1950s, some kids showed signs of getting hooked on the new medium, forcing parents to set limits.

I understand the need to feel connected. But face-to-face communication with another human being — whatever his or her age — sure beats anything you’ll get from an iPhone.

I see many kids walking to the bus stop every morning on their way to school.

Yet whenever it snows and school is canceled, I never see them roaming the streets armed with snow shovels.

Next time you notice your kids paying too much attention to their hand-held devices, feel free to shoo them over to my place.

Christopher Gay


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