Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Where R U?
A few day ago when we were having lunch at the Emporium, I noticed a 30 something woman in the next booth busily text messaging. Not too much later a friend, with a phone in hand, joined her and after 4 or 5 minutes of “How nice you look,” and “We should do this more often,” both women went back to texting. For the rest of their lunch time the conversation was totally focused on who they were texting and what they should tell their common acquaintances about how much fun it was to have lunch together.
The lunch observation got me thinking about the variety of places I’ve seen people, not just kids, totally engrossed in sending and receiving text messages. Besides the car, the list would include movies, plays, restrooms, church, hiking, shopping, biking, a variety of restaurants and I’m sure a few others that I’ve forgotten.
Just to see what’s so exciting about texting, I decided to give it a test run. The first trick was to get the other half to even turn on the cell phone and here’s how it went from there….
“Having coffee at the Emporium.”
“I just thought you should know.”
“Because I look really cool sitting here with my phone.”
Response, “Get the milk and come home.”
I still don’t get it. What drives the need for constant contact with someone else in some other place? A friend suggests that we’re losing our ability to appreciate the “here and now” – our current surroundings, the people we’re with or the meal, or movie or the event that’s right in front of us. While I think that’s a fairly dire assessment, it does seem to be where our electronic gadgets, Wi-Fi, Twitter and Facbook are taking us.
I’m not sure that’s where I want to go. It may be out-of-date thinking but I’m going make sure I enjoy things as they come and not as they might be. It’s fine to look ahead with anticipation but perhaps we do need to spend a little more time engaging the “here and now”.
The next time we have coffee at the Emporium or see each other at the Farmer’s Market, I promise to put away all my gadgets and focus on our time together – that’s assuming you’re not busy texting.
Editor's note: I was in the Super Walmart in Bellbrook yesterday, killing time while Amy was getting her hair permed by a friend. I spotted a computer monitor on sale for a very good price. When my son was visiting from Seattle this Christmas, he mentioned that his monitor was on the verge of quitting on him. I suddenly felt the urge to let him know about the sale. It was too early on the west coast for me to call him, and it would be awhile before I got to my computer to email him. So, I shot him a text message. I have had cellphones with this capability for years, but I cannot ever remember initiating a text. Only once before, did I ever even open a text message that I had received. Am I doomed?