What a different time/era our seniors grew up in. I think they were very fortunate to NOT have all of the distractions we have today. The other night I was at my own birthday party, which was a wonderful event, hosted by my friends and neighbors. I was sitting there chowing down on my Redskin birthday cake, staring at my email and text messaging other friends. I looked up to make sure I wasn’t intentionally being rude, and noticed, 18 of the 20 guest were looking at either Iphones, droids, the galaxy or Ipads. One lone fellow was texting from his flip phone. Poor soul. The other one lone person was changing her baby. For four hours, we chatted with each other, listened to great music from the last era of music…the 80’s, and danced around the room. Most of the evening, we all spent staring at the devices that seem to be permanent fixtures in our hands.
What is so important that draws us to these devices? What is so exciting about starting at this 4 inch screen? Why do we prefer to text people who are not standing right in front us, then text another when that person IS in front of us? What is so addicting about tweeting, and re-tweeting and friending and unfriending people that it occupies all of our time? Oh and email. What is so important that we must be connected to cyber world at all times-til death do us part.
Do you remember getting letters and birthday cards in the mail? That’s a rare thing now. I received 32 emailed birthday cards. One came in the postal mail. That one was from a 93 year old lady who lives 1500 miles away. The rest, all electronic. Am I complaining? NOOOOOOOOOO….I am pointing out how we don’t communicate much with each other, unless it’s in the form of plastic screen covers, tiny keyboards and attachments on board.
Back in the day of our seniors, they would sit on their front porches, watch rabbits hop about, and trade tales of their deer hunts, bear chases and swig on white lightening moonshine. They were living the high life. We drink Jager, compose emails, and tweet. They didn’t have facebook, where they could catch up on all the juicy gossip. Rather they had a party line. For those of you who don’t know what party lines are, it was one telephone line for up to 8 families to share. You could pick up the receiver of your rotary phone, and at any time, listen to your neighbors conversation. Same thing pretty much as Facebook.
The difference? They spent time together. They were in the presence of one another ( except for the whole party line thing), listening to one another. Sitting at the party, I was emailing, tweeting and zipping about facebook. My friends who had gone to great lengths to keep my surprise party under-wraps…..were either playing candy crush, words with friends, texting, face-booking and tweeting as well. There we all sat, under the same roof, yet far apart from one another.
I think we could all learn a lesson from being unplugged and unwired for a little while. We all need to have these electronic devices surgically removed from our hips and hands. I think we would all be shocked to see, and what we will notice if we look up long enough. Today, I laid my phone down for an hour. I talked to people. I looked them in the eye. I hugged people. I noticed a red bird. I saw the coolest batch of clouds in the sky. I noticed the grass needs to be mowed. I noticed the tire on the back of my jeep looks low. I noticed a ground hog eating grass in the field. I realized one of my socks was black and the other dark blue……..I was unplugged, and was aware of my surroundings, and the people around me.
I amy unplug again. I just need to check my FB, get a few blogs out, tweet, answer all the emails I missed while I was unplugged.. tell my iphone to remind me to get the air checked in my tire on the way home…oh and I need to send my brother a birthday card… ..electronically………