When Kish and I were up at Glacier National Park, we took a boat ride with some young people who spent the entire time ignoring the fabulous scenery we were cruising past, and taking “selfies” of themselves instead.
I groaned at their lack of appreciation for the abundant natural beauty surrounding us, but they did look like they were having a lot of fun. Intrigued, I decided to try to take my first selfie — and I realized the framing, distance, etc. that are crucial parts of the selfie experience are not exactly easy to master. My effort at a selfie, above, was a dismal failure . . . although it does communicate a certain pathetic ineptitude with modern technology that is easily mastered by an eight-year-old.
Then I realized that I not only suck at selfies, I have no desire to look at a selfie with me in the picture. If I want to gaze at that grizzled mug, a mirror will do just fine.
So, for decades, the government has been telling us to do something and representing that it would produce health benefits, without real evidence in support. How many public service announcements, pamphlets distributed to kids in health classes, and government websites over the past 35 years have repeated the apparent flossing fiction — and, perhaps, other fictions as well? It makes you wonder how much more of the lifestyle lecturing we get from the National Nanny is based upon speculation, guesswork, or perhaps artful lobbying by the manufacturers of consumer products.
Since I read the AP article, I’ve been thinking about whether I’ll continue to floss. I feel misled by my government, sure . . . but I think I probably will. After all, I’ve got a bunch of floss containers in the bathroom, and I may as well use them up. And, it’s become part of the morning routine designed to make my teeth and gums feel spotless and invigorated, and I’m a creature of habit. And, whatever the feds might do, I know that my dental hygienist is going to rip me if I don’t floss — scientific evidence or not — and I definitely don’t want to get on her bad side.