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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

GET OFF THE PHONE!!!

(c)Kimberly D Miller - Bastendorf Beach at Sunset
I recently had the pleasure of engaging in an enlightening conversation with a woman who came into the store one weekend. She told me a sad but empowering story about her recent visit to see relatives in Washington state. She said she hadn't seen her sister and her family in over 2 years so she decided to make the 7-hour drive and stay a week with them to catch up and get reacquainted. The day she arrived she said that her sister and her husband and her niece and nephew were glad to see her and told her how much they had missed her. Everyone gathered round that night as dinner was prepared and chatted with one another, engaging in family banter and laughter...it was fulfilling and delightful for her in just that moment. Then it happened...they all retired to the living room to sit and talk after dinner, but as soon as everyone was seated, the son opened his laptop, the daughter began texting on her phone, the brother-in-law turned on the television and the sister opened up her Ipad. I shook my head in sadness and I listened to this story unfold as this topic has always been one of my pet peeves. She tried to ignore this at first and began talking to her family but she was met with silence and the occasional, “uh huh.” Feeling defeated after several stale attempts, she stood up, went to the bedroom, packed her bag and came out into the living room. Her sister noticed the bag and asked her what was up. The woman said, “I drove 7 hours to see you all and none of you can look up from your electronic devices long enough to acknowledge my presence in the room so I think I will drive back home. It's worse being alone with people in the room than it is at home alone.” This jolted them enough to put down their devices, mostly at her sister's insistence, and needless to say they had a nice, long visit.

What a sad commentary on our times. I so hate what our technological “advances” have done to our society. People have become reclusive and rude and so unaware of how to interact with one another. My biggest pet peeve and one that I refuse to do to other people, is when I am on the phone with someone and someone else calls in and I am asked to “hold” while they see what that person wants. I am always being put on hold by impersonal companies that I have to deal with and I think it is so rude to be put on hold by a personal friend. Sure there are emergencies that arise, but you can come up with a code for those closest to you so that you know it is an emergency and need to answer, otherwise there is no reason to be put on hold by a friend, especially when they are the ones who called you in the first place. Also, when you visit someone, why wouldn't you spend all your time with them? Why go to visit someone and spend your time buried in a device? It is so sad that we don't know how to interact without these devices. Our poor children are not going to know how to approach another human being and strike up a conversation without the use of an electronic device, an emoticon and and “lol.” The next thing you know people are going to be sitting at the dinner table texting someone to pass them the salt...really?

We are missing out on so much by this antisocial behavior caused by our obsession with electronic devices. As humans we require a certain amount of touch and love and contact in order to remain healthy and happy. Do yourself a favor and try to get out there and interact with people before you lose them all from your life. Show them they are important, tell them they are. If you text them, tell them you love them and miss them and have general discussions but do it when you have the time and not when it takes away from spending time with people you are with in that moment. Life is short...spend time with as many friends and family members as possible while you still can.


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