Seated in a restaurant a few months ago was a mother, father and two children. Mom and dad were busy checking emails and thumbing their IPhones, one of the kids sat there with earphones plugged in, mouth open, staring into space. The other child sat there. Alone. looking around. Nibbling a piece of bread. Ignored.
I have been guilty of sneaking a peak at my Blackberry while having dinner — especially when I feel the “hum” of an arriving message. But I’m the first to admit it is rude. It is essentially telling your dinner companion(s) that there is something more important than their company. In some places, cell phones, Iphones and Blackberries are taboo. That’s probably the way it should be. Especially when families are together. These devices are habit-forming and can be noxious to those with us — and around us.
As I walk from the train station to my office in downtown Chicago, many people chat animatedly on their cell phones. Others are busily texting. And many are just “plugged in.” Listening to something. It’s interesting to see two or three people walking together — each with their own electronic device. Intent. Tuned out. Ships passing in the daytime. . . .
Lately, I try to resist the temptation. I feel noble. Then again, I have a Blackberry and Donna has an IPhone. Grrrrrrrr . . . . . . Excuse me. . . “Donna? Where’s your IPhone? I’m playing Scrabble. . . . ”