It was perfect. Except…
We’d only covered one vacation and a tiny bit of family before her phone buzzed. She apologized, put it upside-down on the table and continued…we’d just reached a grade-school spin-the-bottle memory when her phone rang again. She sighed, held up a “wait-a-sec” finger, punched out a quick message, and got right back to the story. And that’s how it went the whole three hours; a bitter-sweet symphony of chatter, laughter, and phone banter. It reminded me of the conversations I had when my four kids were all small – trying to finish a thought while slicing grapes into slivers, pouring juice and putting out all kinds of fires. Don’t get me wrong, I loved seeing my friend and I’m looking forward to our next get-together, but it made me realize just how attached adults can be to their phones.
It could be part of the instant gratification theory, or maybe just a byproduct of everybody having a phone with them all the time. I mean, I keep my phone close to me and answer it when it rings and return texts when I get them (most of the time anyway). I don’t have my phone on ALL the time, but when I do, I use it. Face it, when we’re bored we check Facebook; when something’s funny we Instagram it, when we’re lost we pull up Google maps. Our phones store numbers and addresses and messages and reminders; they hold schedules and notes and pictures. We need our phones, we just don’t need them all the time!
Everybody knows that a phone call or text or picture or vine is NOT as important as face-to-face communication, but (do we even realize?) we don’t always show it. When we’re engaging with other humans in any way – having lunch, shopping, talking, meeting, whatever – let’s remember to turn our phones OFF or at least put them on silent, and offer our undivided attention to who we’re with.