Thumb jockeys are on the rise You’ve seen them. They are at the movies, on the plane, in the elevator, at church and now they are even showing up in bathrooms! Thumb jockeys are on the rise!

Thumb jockeys are those self absorbed people whose eyes are squinted and fixed on tiny screens as their thumbs pound away on the miniature keyboards of their high-tech electronic ropes, otherwise known as cellular telephones.

Talking is no longer enough. About 63 percent of Americans from the age of 18 to 27 are text messaging, according to a Pew Internet & American Life Project survey. About 5 billion text messages are sent a month in the USA according to the wireless trade association CTIA.

In a world where attention spans are as short as the fuse on a firecracker, thumb jockeys have an incredible ability to block out everything around them as they push, pull and poke out messages on their personal digital assistants.

Holding a live, in-person conversation with a thumb jockey is like trying to talk with an old west gun slinger in the middle of a gun fight. It is nearly impossible to get a word in edgewise without the thumb jockey reaching for his holster to take yet another important telephone call, text message or e-mail. Thumb jockeys have become addicted to the very thing that was to provide them with more freedom and flexibility. The urge to check for the latest incoming communication is only pacified by special beeps, alerts and ring tones that indicate to the thumb jockey a new message arrived and who sent the message.

Bring back the Pony Express! We will survive without becoming thumb jockeys. Our craving for faster and more efficient communication is robbing us of serenity, peace and relaxation. No, I’m not suggesting that we all renew our CB radio licenses but we have got to find a way of releasing ourselves from our cell-tower prisons. The very fact that I can’t imagine life without my cell phone concerns me. Can you relate? Just try going a day or two without your cell phone and see how lost you become.

You might be a thumb jockey if you can no longer type complete sentences without using abbreviations or are proud of your Bluetooth device and consider an ear bud a fashion statement. If beaming and syncing are words you associate with Star Trek and swimming, then chances are you are safe. But if you understand exactly what I mean, then you’re busted. It is time you take a long walk and leave your electronic leash behind.

Here is the real kicker. If we spent less time on cell phones and more time on our knees, the freedom we search for and the power we need for getting through the day would fill our lives.

Are you with me? If so, then send me a text. I’m kidding. I’m ready when you are. Let’s take a vacation from our cell phones and reintroduce ourselves to our family and friends. What do you say? Go ahead. Turn your cell phone off. You will be glad you did.