In this fast moving time of technological advances, we’re all dazzled by what our cell phones and tablets can do. We can remotely control our house while gone, can connect with people all over the world through imagery, get e-mail, text, and do all sorts of other things, including playing games. On one hand, it’s mind expanding, but on another, it’s causing us to disconnect from our immediate environment and the people who are there.
I noted while waiting in a line at the bank for the next free teller that someone further ahead made a comment, and someone else responded. I was startled to see that the people were engaging in conversation, and joined in, making the observation that we were actually talking with one another! Everyone laughed, because we recognized the rarity of connecting person to person in today’s fast paced world.
A friend wrote yesterday that he was in a physical therapy office where he saw an adorable 3 year old girl trying to get the attention of her mother and grandmother who were riveted to their IPhones. He engaged the little girl in play, but was aware that she truly wanted the attention of her family. When the mother looked up for a moment, he tried to suggest that the little girl was craving their attention. The woman nodded and went back to her phone, oblivious to her behavior and the effect it was having on her child. He said it reminded him of a #1 Hit in the 70s called Cats in the Cradle sung by Harry Chapin, about a father neglecting his son because he was too busy, and how his son in adulthood became just like his father to the point of neglecting him as well. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUwjNBjqR-c
I mentioned these things to a friend today and she said that was what she loved about visiting Cuba. She said people interacted with one another because their internet was very sporadic and when they met at a coffee house, all generations would come together in late afternoon to chat and share with one another. She said that when she was in a Starbucks here she noted that nobody even looked at anyone else. All were glued to their tablets and phones, invalidating the whole purpose of a coffee house.
So my suggestion to all of us is to take a time out from the constant intrusion of technology. Let’s go places and actually look at those around us and exchange a word or two. Who knows who we might meet or what we might learn person to person rather than at a distance. It’s a novel idea…taking a time out from technology!