I don’t know why, but I get really hacked off by people yaking on their cell phones in public places and totally ignoring the rest of the world. Seems to me, everyday niceties are fast becoming a thing of the past.
Digital connections offer the illusion of companionship without the demands of friendship. We expect more from technology and less from each other.
At the most basic level, we’re losing our manners. At the heart of manners is a consideration of others and the acknowledgement of each other.
How many times, guys, have you been barked at by your wife because instead of giving full attention to what she was saying, you were looking at your phone. What’s the message that’s getting sent? “There is something more important than you and it’s not here in this room.”
Do you know what the average # of text messages a 13-17 year old teenage girl sends and receives every month? The Average? 4000. That’s one every six minutes that she’s awake. Boys aren’t much better at 3000.
Where’s the #1 reported place where people get insight? The shower. Why the shower? In the shower, there’s not much else to do. We’re relaxed. Our mind wanders but it’s not constantly being bombarded with new information (at least until we can take our phones in the shower which I’m sure is being worked on…). The shower time is GAP time. Time for our minds to make subtle connections and insights. Creativity REQUIRES gap time.
Gaps used to happen all the time. Now they’re disappearing. You’re eating lunch with a friend and they excuse themselves to go to the restroom. A gap. Now, you pull out your phone because being unstimulated makes you feel anxious. Waiting time in a line at the bank? Used to be a gap. Now it’s an opportunity to send an email or a text.
We didn’t think gap time and “boredom” were valuable. Now that we’re losing it, we get a sense of just how valuable it was.
But because I refuse to live and breathe to the ping and buzz of stupid phone…I’m considered old fashioned.