Technology Has Torn us Apart
We live in the Era of Cellphones, emails, texting, and social media...
The other day, I took my kids to the playground. We arrived, got out of the car, and as I walked behind them, I look around, as I usually do. I saw kids playing, running, some screaming, others just sitting. Then I saw the parents/caretakers, sitting on a bench, looking at their phones. I focused on a lady, who seemed to be mad at the sun because she kept moving around stressfully, trying to avoid the reflection on her screen. Then as I moved my eyes, I saw a little girl, looking at her, hanging from the monkey bars, with no emotion on her face. As if she had given up trying to get her mommy's attention, because after all, her mom was to focused on her phone.
I then started playing with my kids, running, being mommy monster, making frog stew and being the alligator under the bridge. After a while, they started drawing with chalk. As a writer, I am always very observant of my surroundings, finding inspiration wherever I go, but this time, as I realized I had found my subject, it seemed sad, and maybe even heavy to write.
I started observing everyone. From the kids to the grown ups, as the kids made new friends, the adults, never made eye contact, no one said hello, no one looked up to smile, its like they forgot they were at the playground, and worst of all they forgot, that there was a little person in need of their attention, in need of their praises, yet would get nothing in return.
In a world of cell phones, where did eye contact go?
As I watched my daughter, running to another little girl, asking her if she wanted to be her friend, and then holding hands and running happily, I realized, why can't we be like that? We live in a world, where even in a playground, people are either too stressed or too proud to say hello, or even make eye contact, to see where your child is, to make sure they are ok. I realized, has technology turned us into brainless Zombie.
Its inhuman to say hello. I realize that. I am the kind of person that will make eye contact, even if it isn't easy for me, because I am an introvert. I may not start a conversation with a stranger, but I do smile, and acknowledge their presence. I make eye contact and most of the time, only make people uncomfortable, I smile, and either people look away, or men think Im flirting and make it uncomfortable.
But, as soon as we hear that we receive an email, or text, we run to that phone, interrupt real time with the world and bury our noses in our phones. We lead by example, and it saddens me to imagine what the world will be like a generation or 2 from now. It makes me wonder if people will even talk, or just sit next to each other texting. Because it is easier to text than to talk. Emotions are being forgotten, because now a days people are breaking up through text messaging. People refuse to answer a call, because of the whole "I don't want to talk to anyone, but I will text". Does this mean we avoid verbally communication, because there are too many emotions involved?
Go Ahead, and Fire your Phone
I always have my phone on me, for work emails, calls, etc., and at the same time I am a stay at home mom, who writes from home. I am also guilty of having to answer that email, or send a last minute article, but I started to teach myself to balance it, because after all, I don't ever want my job to become an obsession, or much worse, to take over my life. So If I know I am not on a deadline, my phone stays in the counter, I don't stop what I am doing to check it, I don't interrupt a human to human conversation to glance at it. It took time, and I am still working on it, but it is working, and I love not feeling like I am attached to it.
If we gave each other more eye contact, if we said hello more often, or smiled, our kids would be thankful as well as happier. So go ahead, fire that phone, look around you, and live!!!!