In a story published in the Jan. 3 edition of the Portland Press Herald (“Teen’s question given terse LePage response,” Page A1), a teenager commented that Gov. LePage was “rude” when he said, in response to the teen’s inquiry about net neutrality, that the teen should “pick up a book and read.” Apparently, the grandfather of the teen agreed with his grandchild when he said he would not vote for LePage ever again because of his comment.

In my humble and older person’s opinion, a much more serious level of rudeness occurs when a group is sitting in a family room trying to have a conversation and most of the teens and sometimes an adult have their attention focused on the device in their lap. Rudeness occurs when you ask a teen a question and he or she never looks up from the game being played or the text message being sent.

Computers certainly provide a value to someone who is looking for the quick answer to a question. Sometimes, however, one might have to analyze the information provided by the computer. This is when other skills, such as reading and understanding a book, may come in handy.

In the comic section of another issue of your paper, when a teacher provided a student with a book to research a question, the student said, “Is that a book?” Sad, but today’s reality.

Did the teen or grandparent ever think that Gov. LePage might be making a constructive suggestion?

Robert D. Haggett