Over the past few days, I have had myriad conversations that, on their face, seem to be about differing subjects; but which in fact, all climaxed at the same point – our society is experiencing a chronic case of a lack of proper etiquette! Simply put, it seems as if most of us have decided that our presence on social media far outweighs our social presence. I don’t know about you all, but I am quite flabbergasted and disgusted by society in general’s preoccupation with their mobile devices (and yes, this IS coming from a woman counting on the fact that at least once every day, you fire up one such device and read her shit)! I am so disgusted in fact that I have decided that it warrants a conversation. Alright… a rant!
Let’s address this. Since the elimination of the pager (aka beeper), the introduction of ‘call waiting’, followed by the mobile phone, culminating in the dawn of the “smart phone” era, it appears as if the smarter the technology, the dumber the user! I mean, one will truly have to be stupid to sit across a table from someone whose face is buried in a device! The prevalence of conversations that now happen between one person and the crown of another’s head is mind-blowing! If one were not so sadly aware of the lack of manners permeating our society, one glance at a table may suggest that all parties are involved in prayer – with piously bowed heads! But the only worshipping happening is between man (used in both the gender and gender-neutral sense) and his device. Sigh. It seems as if somewhere, contracts have been executed that have turned most relationships into threesomes. Yall are some stupid freaks! ‘Siri’ is one of the biggest (and smartest) whores I know – that bitch is involved with so many of you!
Seriously. I find it a very sad commentary indeed recognizing that so many of us refuse to unplug; indicating from our behavior that what is happening “out there” is infinitely either more important or more interesting than what is in front of or next to us. Don’t know about yall, but that is an insult I refuse to indulge! Sometimes I wonder how the hell all yall so-called so-very-important-people survived before some genius took your land-lines and photo albums and placed them in your pockets! What the hell kind of life did you have before you were able to announce to the world in realfuckingtime what you were eating and where the fuck you were working out?!?
Don’t get me wrong, I applaud, enjoy and benefit from the advent of the smart-phone. I (and my boss) appreciate my being able to check my emails while outside of my home or office; many times that is necessary. I also value being able to ‘reach out and touch’ my daughter at times via text or What’s App; I think it’s brilliant! And, I get a tickle out of loading my latest blog post on my Android and having it there to entertain me on my commute into work J . Got all that. What this is about, is not knowing or no longer caring when it is not appropriate to have one’s face stuck in a device!
For the most part, we have become a society of mindless beings; content in the knowledge that our most fulfilling and long-lasting relationships fit in the palm of our hands (and yes, just like its predecessor, they’re both hard, respond to strokes and only work when turned on). On my commute, walking in the street and in social settings, I marvel at most people’s oblivion to not only those they are in the company of, but more importantly, to danger. Instead of looking up and around, most people now walk (and even drive), with the heads bowed and buried in a device. The only eye-contact most make now is with themselves, verifying their retinal identity!
You know, as much as I pride myself on being ‘current’, I am even more proud of the fact that I have not become so enamored with the aspect of today’s culture that dictates that I replace my human interactions with pixel’d versions! I still value face-to-face interactions and conversations, rejecting its digital clone. There will never be an instance where I will ever rely on the text’d words in lieu of what I am shown looking behind someone’s eyes. I will always opt for stroking the object of my desire’s arm rather than mechanically showing my feelings with a damn “like” button! And, I will never become so blind to my safety or desperate for ‘friends’ that I find it necessary to “check in”.
Listen, all I am saying is this – absolutely appreciate the strides we have been fortunate enough to experience with regard to technology; they are nothing short of spectacular really! But, as with all things, use wisdom. Disconnect from the devices (trust me; you’re not that important) and re-learn how to re-focus and re-engage with the humans around you. Have conversations that are too sweet to ‘tweet’. Experience moments that are way too precious to ‘selfie’. Be so busy living and loving that you’re disinterested in stopping to update a ‘status’.
Challenge yourselves: #disconnecttoreconnect