Put that phone down and pay attention… or not?
I have been thinking about these for the past several days. Texting has changed my life. The question I keep asking is it better or worse. In some ways it seems worse. When we go out to dinner you can look around and everyone is doing something on a smart phone. They don’t appear to be engaged in the moment. They are off somewhere in their own little cloud. But if you look closely, this first impression falls apart.
For example, last Friday I watch a father and his little daughter, she was maybe 10, having dinner together. The father was constantly on his phone rattling the virtual keys as it were. The little girl was busy playing with everything on the table as they waited for their meal. At first I thought, “Put that phone down and pay attention to your daughter.” But he was paying attention to her. I don’t know what he was doing on the phone for sure but I think he was sharing the moment with another family member who couldn’t attend in person. Again, is this a good thing or a bad thing?
Now here is an example where I know what was going on. Ricky and I went to the drugstore to pick up his prescription after dinner. The whole time we were in the store (and even before we entered out in the parking lot!) he was texting on his phone. I was annoyed with this. But it was important for him to be doing this, even though I was not involved.
You see, he was texting back and forth between our Son, his ex-wife, and our granddaughter. We are here in Reno, Brandon our son is in Modesto, Brandon’s mother is in Oklahoma and our granddaughter is not speaking to her father. In the 20 or so minutes we were at the story, a connection was made. A line of communication was opened and a situation was getting resolution. I wasn’t a part of it but Ricky shared with me what was happening in the car on our way home.
What they were arguing about is not important. We are talking about a relationship between a father and his teenage daughter. You can image how trivial the whole thing really was if you have ever been around a teenage girl. The point is people from all different places were able to get together in the clouds and communicate. I hate to admit it but I am thinking texting truly has improved our lives.