Hello and if you are reading my blog on your Smart Phone, the title of this post may pose a challenge for you. But I figure the majority of my readers pull up my blog while sitting on their couch, toilet or at a desk. Relaxed with the laptop open and a steaming hot beverage within arm’s length. Click, scroll, giggle, scroll on with an occasional “Oh My Gawd! That is genius!” cast out involuntarily.
So why would I suggest an attack one of the electronic devices bringing my word crafting to life? Let me explain.
Last Friday night, the mythical group known as the Lager Sluggers (softball club) had just finished playing their last game of the session at Fenton Park. The outcome was a loss and the pervading emotion throughout the group was a resounding ‘MEH’. With some spouses and children in attendance, the group numbered around fifteen or sixteen. Standing around a tree about a dozen feet from the backstop, most of the group was staring at an object in their palms.
Back when I made my Lager Slugger’s debut in 2004 this was a common occurrence but the object being stared at was a cold beer can. On Friday night though, the group was mostly mute while they were checking emails, texts, Snaps, instant messages or whatever else was pressing at that moment. It wasn’t like we had played for hours upon hours and every one had to check in to make sure there were no earth shattering events missed in their lives.
Granted a few in the group made some polite conversation but even they were split in their focus on what was being talked about and whatever pictures or words were appearing on that tiny screen.
This is just an extension of parties, picnics, work meetings et al. People used to get together and discuss things – with real eye contact and full participation. I don’t remember when we crossed over that threshold of partial participation but I fear it will only get worse.
Just a friendly piece of advice: If you have someone you kind of like (friend, child, spouse, co-worker, etc) in your vicinity, try putting your phone in your pocket, purse, inside your bra or wherever and see if you can engage that other human without having to give in to our touchscreen societal addiction.
Yes I am guilty of this too at times (Go Indians!), however I vow to try to be present and up to the task if another human is ballsy enough to make eye contact, smile and start a legit conversation. I think the odd of this occurring are similar to winning both the Powerball and Mega Millions drawings in the same week.
OK you can pick your Smart Phone back up. Be careful and make sure you are giving plenty of car-lengths in traffic and a one stall barrier in public restrooms.