Wednesday, March 23, 2011
I was stuck at the airport in San Francisco (again) and I went outside to get some fresh air. Every time I do this, it seems the perfect photo op for picture to a post with an article like the one I’m writing now. Each time I have been at the airport, I notice 4 or more people standing in line texting or chatting on their cell phones. It's comical how we have become so obsessed with these little technical devices. I’m always tempted to take a picture of this new phenomena and write about it, but I never seem to sit down and do it. That is until now. What inspired me this time? Read on.
I went into T.G.I.F. to grab dinner during my layover (4 hours). Food courts at the airport, especially San Francisco (now considered in the top 5 most expensive place to live in the U.S.), are very expensive and this particular menu has nothing priced less than $16. A family of four came in and sat at the table next to me. Mom, dad, teenage son, and a daughter about the same age. Immediately after sitting down, and even before water was brought to the table, each one of them picked up their cell phones and began to text messages—it was a sight to see—and not a good one in my opinion.
They only refrained long enough for the waitress to take their order and then the entire family continued this until their order was brought to the table. They only stopped because they couldn’t eat and text at the same time (give them more practice!). A $100 or more meal together with no voice.
When I grew up (we won’t mention dates), the family all gathered at the dinner table to eat and discuss our day. When my kid’s were growing up, our generation of parents were accused of not having meals together at the dinner table every night—guilty as charged! We were a busy generation, most moms worked outside the home (for the first time). But we tried, and it wasn’t a “text message” that prevented us from communicating once we had this little and precious time with our family.
What will become of this next generation? Will they be capable of communicating face-to-face at all? Will these kids grow up and commit crimes or become addicts because they never were able to connect with their parents, or vice versa? It happens. I understand the show Intervention is basically a “reality show,” but when you listen to the addicts stories, most of them chose drugs or alcohol because they felt insignificant. Once their families are able to express their love and concern verbally—OUT LOUD—the addict generally agrees to treatment. See the connection here???
I’m afraid for our next generation, and I think the fear is justified. PARENTS! YOUR CHILDREN WILL NOT HATE YOU IF YOU TELL THEM TO PUT DOWN THE PHONE! And parents! Teach your children by example! We are quickly melting into a pot of no human contact, emotional connection, or family values. We call it social networking, but what it really is, is anti-social or recluse.
I have a cell phone; I even have the Internet on it. But you will never see my face buried into it during dinner, while I’m visiting friends, or driving down the road. It’s rude, immature, unsocial, and DANGEROUS!
People! Put your phone down. Enjoy life—real life! Use your cell to call a friend you miss talking to, but only to plan a place you will meet face-to-face and enjoy the perfect conversation together, without a cell phone between you!