Monday, October 07, 2013
a love hate relationship
The lures of technology are many, it seems. I often admire what the internet hath wrought - this morning, for example, I looked at a few blogs I like, I ordered some art supplies not available in my area, and a book came in the mail, again ordered online since it was not available locally - but other times, not so much.
Case in point. Ryan and I went out for supper last night at the cafe at the local health food store (best salads around - huge, organic, homegrown, etc). In the cafe, we were the only people with no devices. Man in the corner had a laptop and a mobile, and was going back and forth between the two, while mostly ignoring his plate of food. Man on the side wall had a notebook and was watching something with the sound on (we were sitting less than five feet away from him and found this rather shocking). Two women at the next table were carrying notebooks, but they were off and just sitting on the table, inert, as the women conversed. Couple at the table behind us were both on mobile devices the entire time we were there and spoke perhaps three sentences to each other (nothing requiring actual dialogue, however). Young woman on the other side wall had an open flip phone but appeared to be concentrating on her supper, not the phone. Oh, I forgot to mention that the Man in the Corner was playing some kind of a game on his mobile device, one that made an audible clicking noise every time he made a move, which was often. Click. Click click. Click click clickety click. The only time he stopped was to take a bite, and once, to address someone else who came into the cafe, an acquaintance, to ask him if he'd watched "the youtubes" he'd emailed recently. Man #2 said no, please re-send, and Man in The Corner said he'd do it right now, and turned away, to his laptop, to do just that.
So, this is now acceptable behavior, it seems. Related thought - perhaps the cafe should disconnect its free wifi. So people can, like, you know, simply eat and be together.
Thankfully, just before we left, a young couple came in, sat down, and proceeded to eat their supper and pay attention to each other and their surroundings. And Ryan and I were there, to share a giant salad, catch up after a busy weekend spent largely apart, and gaze into each other's eyes. So this little rant is a tempest in a teapot. Still, the scene in the cafe has me thinking. About technology, connectivity, and relationships real and imagined. About loneliness and togetherness. I love the internet. I hate the internet.