Friday, March 26, 2010

Glued to technology

Our family went out to a local restaurant last week, and I keep reflecting on an incident there. We were in a row of booth/tables and soon after we sat down, a young couple (probably undergrads) were seated next to us. At least I assume they were a couple as they came in together. They said less than 10 words to each other the whole time we were there.

Why? The guy spent almost the entire time texting on his phone. He started soon after he sat down, paused to order, and started up again. At first, I thought it odd but assumed he was finishing up some text conversation. Our family continued our conversation and fun. The place had a bunch of "stuff" hanging from the ceiling so that was a distraction for the kids for a while. Later, during a lull in the kids activities, I noticed that the guy was texting (still?). I hadn't heard a word from their direction in a while - so even if there was a time when he was not texting, he wasn't exactly making conversation.

Now, I have no idea what the girl is like, but she seemed to be putting up with this with great patience. If this is habitual behavior, I think she should dump him for treating her rudely. Should we be so attached to being connected anytime, anywhere, that we ignore the person in front of us?

And I would be remiss not to give a plug for Nick & Nate's where this happened.

1 comment:

Brian said...

I worked with an intern a couple years ago. He constantly had his phone out texting. It's a wonder he got anything done. But that's the norm now, and your disdain for it just means you're getting old just like the rest of us. :)

I've long been fascinated with the Bible story of the Tower of Babel. Most often, it's taught as a simple lesson about hubris and trying to reach the stature of God. I have never been satisfied with that as a complete reading. I always wondered, why wouldn't God want all of humanity to be able to easily communicate? After 9/11 I began to get an inkling. Communication allows for great works for both good and ill.

The conversation between the guy and girl at the table was stunted, but what about the conversation between the guy and the person on the other end of the text-a-ma-phone? Our parents wrote letters. We wrote e-mails. Today they write texts. And tweets. And facebook stati. There's a new Tower being built out there, and the ramifications are wondrous and more than a little scary.