Yesterday, I was having lunch with my daughter and her boyfriend and he was talking about some pictures he’d sent to my phone. This brought up a typical discussion that I constantly have with my children dealing with technology. On my last phone trade in I got a phone that does it all. Text, TV, every app imaginable...but I only have phone service. I refuse to text. Let me repeat, I refuse to text. If you want to talk to me, call. I have seen my kid’s text for an hour making plans that could have been handled in two minutes with a phone call. I get it. An “I’m running late,” text is maybe, probably easier than a call, but I’m not buying into the game. It’s just one more way to distance people from each other. I only have the phone in the first place because:
a. My kids only have cells and I’m on their plan so they can call me for free, not using up those precious minutes.
b. As I said before we travel a lot and it gives them a chance to get in touch in case of emergency.
That’s it. No other reasons. I work at home so most of the time people can get me there. In fact, the battery on my phone is dead most of the time because I forget to charge it the minute I get home (Note: I just got up to plug it into the charger).
I suppose most of this technology is good. But it seems to distance us from the people who are most important. I cringe when I am walking through the grocery and a young mother is chatting away on her cell as her child is pulling on her sleeve saying, “Mom, Mom.” You’ve all seen it. Or you’re behind someone in line that is chatting away on the cell as they pay for their purchase. You catch the cashier’s eye and shrug. A knowing smile crosses her face. It’s become a way of life.
People are important. Taking a few minutes to shut down your phone and spend time talking to your child has to be the priority. I am so glad my kids were raised without the technology. They learned to interact with people face to face.
It’s the same with e-mail. How easy is it to say something mean in a message that you wouldn’t say face to face? It’s a somewhat cowardly way to hit and run.
I hope you don’t think that I’m some crotchety fifty something who has no use for technology. I use it every day. I research on line for my articles. I send out notifications to my writing group, I play Bejewled, (hey, it’s fun) and I chat on Facebook. It’s just not the first step I take when I need to find out information from a friend or loved one. I'll pick up the house phone, because I like to hear their voices, the inflections and intonations that are part of a wonderful conversation. Besides, the cell phone's dead and I don’t feel like booting up the computer.