Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Cut off your nose; or spite your Facebook?

(draft 2)

I read with great interest about a qualitative study which indicates that given a hypothetical choice; over half of today’s youth would prefer to give up their sense of smell, rather than live without their social networks.


I’m curious as to how this poll was conducted; because instead of giving an instant answer to such a significant dilemma, this strikes me as the type of quandary –albeit theoretical, that one should mull over wisely for a few days, before giving it a final answer.


Take for instance, the importance of being able to smell a fire or a gas leak before it builds up into an explosive nature. And what about spoiled food, with our smart noses ready to save us from sickness or worse? If we went nose- less, wouldn’t most of us miss the simple pleasures and familiarity of distinctive aromas emanating from friends and beloved ones?


Smell is the sense most closely connected with our memories. When we take a healthy walk through the woods on a snowy evening feeling powerfully connected to nature, it’s a great nostalgic joy to sniff somebody’s fireplace blazing in the misty distance, which reminds us deeply of other golden times.


With this in mind, I wonder if they thought it over a little more, if today’s younger generation would truly rather give up their good sense of smell, and prefer to paint rosy Facebook pictures? Perhaps I’m a nosy old Luddite, but I still find it startling and smell something wrong, when I see how many of our youth believe social networks are the greatest thing ever invented -even topping the fresh fragrance of warm sliced bread.


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