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Mon, Oct. 14

Friday Catchall: Put down the cellphone — no lying!

Tim Wiederaenders, senior news editor for the Prescott News Network, works to bring his cellphone back to life. (Brian Bergner Jr./Courier)

Tim Wiederaenders, senior news editor for the Prescott News Network, works to bring his cellphone back to life. (Brian Bergner Jr./Courier)

The Friday Catchall:

GET OUT — It is a strange thing: people expressing their opinions about government issues that can affect their communities — but they do not attend the hearings.

I see it quite a lot through social media, such as Facebook.

The site, which began as a haven for young people that is now more for their parents (the kids have moved on to Snapchat, Instagram and others), regularly sees posts and comments from people who love, like or hate things.

Still, we have the public hearings at which our elected leaders make the decisions. For example, on Wednesday, Oct. 3, the Board of Supervisors will take comments in Prescott on the idea of banning texting and cellphone use while driving. Also, Arizona Eco Development’s controversial plans for developing land in and near the Granite Dells will likely go before the Prescott Planning and Zoning Commission in November (some time later it will get a close review by the City Council).

While a good number of people will attend both, those chambers would be bursting at the seams if everyone — who cared or had something to say — attended.

Social media is a good way to share family photos; however, I can live without seeing what you had for dinner or all those memes (images with text over them, making jokes or statements).

I have to wonder, though, where would we be if social media did not exist? I found out this week when my phone, let’s say, locked up (it would not update apps and they became unusable). It had become only a … phone.

I went through iPhone withdrawal symptoms; anxious because I was not "connected" when I wanted to be.

Before I reset the phone, I realized I merely needed to get out and — get this — talk with people. Face to face.

Technology has corrupted us. Get to the meetings and give your opinions in person.

TRUTH OR NOT? — Here’s something I have always seen as questionable: lie detector tests.

If you pass one, you didn’t do it or you’re telling the truth.

If you fail, you’re assumed guilty or a liar.

And, if you refuse to take one — “What are you hiding?”

But everyone knows they are not admissible in court. Why then — or how — can investigators or authorities place so much credence in them?

If their results do not stand up in court, they seem like junk science to me.

QUOTE — “It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.” This is often attributed to Albert Einstein, but that’s a matter of debate according to many websites — ironically.

PICK OF THE WEEK(Proving there’s always something good to do in the Prescott area that’s cheap or free): Yavapai Cattle Growers Association’s annual BBQ and calf sale, 8 a.m. Saturday gates open, 9 a.m. booths open, at the Maughan Ranch in Peeples Valley.

Tim Wiederaenders is the senior news editor for The Daily Courier and Prescott News Network. Follow him on Twitter @TWieds_editor. Reach him at 928-445-3333, ext. 2032, or twieds@prescottaz.com.

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