I find it interesting that in the midst of this “age of communication” there is less actual communicating going on. We may be sharing information quicker, but I think we’re leaving something behind.
I work in a restaurant where I watch couples out for dinner together, sitting across from each other staring at their phones. Maybe I could give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they’re checking in with the babysitter, but I highly doubt it takes two to call home. Maybe they should consider leaving the phones in the car, just for an hour? Is whatever they’re texting or that Facebook feed SO important it can’t wait for 60 minutes?
Then there’s the family who has 2 kids glued to their phones or tablets playing games instead of talking about what they did at school, or their favorite part of the movie they just saw. The dinner hour used to be something special to families, the one time of day the family all sits down together to talk. Parents today always seem shocked with the things their kids get into as they get older, asking themselves “How did I not know about that?” How can you expect to know anything about your children if you don’t engage in conversations with them?
I have a 15 y/o daughter who is quickly falling into this habit. She doesn’t have a phone, but the iPod has become a constant accessory. The biggest use for her iPod is emailing. Not so bad, right? Wrong. She uses her email as a form of “text” with her friends, exchanging and obscene number of messages in a day. I asked her the other day when the last time she had talked to her friend, L. Her response: “I don’t know. She doesn’t have an email.” Have we so quickly forgotten what it’s like to pick up the phone and call a friend?
I’m not against cell phones, or text messages. I can’t even put a number on the texts I send and receive in a month. But even though I’m exchanging messages with friends and family, how often are our words misunderstood because it’s difficult to express our tone. Sometimes putting a smiley at the end of a sentence isn’t enough.
I think I’ve guilted myself enough now. 🙂 TIme to go make a few phone calls.