Pop quiz. Has any of the following ever happened to you?
- You’re at a coffee shop with a friend you haven’t seen in a while. You’re anxious to catch up. She’s too busy texting or checking Facebook to give you more than an uninterested nod or “Uh huh, that is funny”.
- You’re at dinner with your significant other at a nice restaurant. Their cell phone rings. Rather than quickly pressing the mute button, they answer it. Even though it’s only his/her best friend they saw earlier in the day but doesn’t have anything important to say. Conversation lasts 20 minutes.
- You’re at a local café for lunch and standing in line behind someone who is trying to order a sandwich while also on the phone discussing the latest celebrity gossip with their friend. She slows down the line and the cashier is rolling her eyes consistently. The woman on the phone of course does not notice.
- You’re at the library and while looking for your book you can hear a man two aisles away talking on the phone about his favorite football team. The librarian looks at you with a sympathetic head tilt.
- You’re driving along on the freeway minding your own business when the driver in the luxury SUV next to you cuts you off. You notice that the driver is on the phone and oblivious to the fact that you swerved violently going 70 mph.
Okay, this is not really a pop quiz. But I’ll bet you’ve been in similar situations, probably frequently. If you’re not bothered, or you’re the one constantly on the phone, stop reading. Seriously. You’ll only be offended by what I have to say.
How did we get here anyway? It seems like everyday I come across someone who is seemingly polite and wouldn’t think about cutting in front of someone else in line, yet they don’t seem to think twice about all but ignoring the person sitting right next to them to play Angry Birds or something else equally inane. Really, has anyone posted anything on Facebook since you checked 2 minutes ago? Even then, can’t you read about what your cousin’s best friend’s neighbor had for lunch at some other time? Like maybe notduring the toast at your parents anniversary party? It will still be there, I promise.
We text while we are driving, eating, drinking, and playing games. I’ve been in public restrooms and heard the woman in the stall next to me talking on the phone. About nothing. More than once. We can’t have lunch with our friends, get on an airplane, go to the gym or even cross the street without checking the news or weather or answering that important “what u doin” text. Is nothing sacred anymore? Why do we do it? Is it because we think we’ll miss something? If so, what? Is that famous for being famous celebrity you’re following on twitter going to say something more interesting now than they said 30 seconds ago? And if so, what are you going to do about it that can’t be done later? Why are we so self important that we think other people care that we’ve “checked in” at the gas station or as I’ve even seen, our own houses? The truth is, people care about what you have to say as much as you care about what they have to say. Which is probably not much, if you’re being honest with yourself. So why do we keep doing it?
While I can’t answer that question, I can do something instead of complain. While I am not going to give up
Yes, you’ll still find me on Facebook, and I’ll still send emails, but only when I can do it alone, at an appropriate time and place. And if that changes, don’t worry, you’ll find that in my twitter feed.