The topic at hand, coincidentally, was texting while driving. He was whining that he found driving to be a waste of time. He was sniveling that that he hated it when he had to turn off his phone when he was on an airplane. He kept saying he had to be "socially connected" or it was not productive or interesting time.
I was completely appalled. Maybe I'm just getting old, but driving in the car with just music, talk radio or even...silence is refreshing to me. Yes, I've driven repetitive commutes. I took the commute time, typically around 30 minutes, as a time to prepare mentally for my work day. I was attentive to the driving task, actually looked around as I went, noting new things, the change of seasons, etc. and arrived ready to go to work. As to riding in airplanes, well, there's books, music, writing, sleeping and, even, talking to your seat mate.
It seems as if the younger set has lost two important skills. One is living in this very moment, the place you are right now, breathing this air, sitting in this space, seeing these things that are around you, noticing these people who are near you. The other is being comfortable just being you by yourself without having someone else around to validate you by interacting with you. Many younger people seem unable to amuse themselves without outside aids these days, whether they be technological or human.
I felt a little sorry for Mr. Merrill, that he was so uncomfortable being by himself that he can't enjoy it or gain from it. It is not a good thing not to be your own best company.