Are we - as an American society - teaching our children to be ADD?
Next time you are out in public, look around you. I mean really look. Now think back ten years. What were people doing in the waiting room at a doctors office? On a plane? On a bus? Did every man, woman, and child have an electronic device in their hands? Were children given a movie - just to keep them quiet? I don't remember ever being given something to keep me quiet. I had to use my imagination, read a book, or find a toy to play with. I also spent a lot of time writing or drawing.
Now think back 40 years. What did people do to amuse themselves? What did the women do? Men? What about the children?
I realize that many people may be reading a book or newspaper on their iPhone - but if you look over shoulders, it's typically Facebook, Instagram, or another social media website. It drives me crazy to be in a youth service at church and see a teen playing candy crush and not reading their 'electronic Bible.'
When did we become so self-involved that we had to update everybody we know - and even those we don't know well - about every little thing in our lives? Are we really so important that everyone needs to know the cute thing the cat did? Do we really need to post about tonight's amazing dinner? Is that game really that important. If you don't make it to the next level, your life really will continue.
I know that the internet has helped people reconnect with family. It's a great way to keep up with my great aunt who lives 5,000 miles away. I send her emails instead of updating the entire world on my children's day to day activities.
I'm not saying all this is bad. For crying out loud I post a lot on this blog! What I have a problem with is when we are so involved with telling others about our 'special moment' that we miss it because we are busy telling others - not enjoying it. What I have a problem with is people who spend time on social media, and not socializing.
I will not let my children have a FB account. It may seem cruel and unusual - I know most of their friends have one. I turn mine off until one of them goes to camp and it's the only way to get updates (and photos!). Why? Because I see the stuff that people post. I don't want to see it and I certainly don't want my children to see it either.
Why not turn to the person next to you and strike up a conversation? How about using that 'smart' phone to make a phone call (NOT in the dr office!) and talk to that friend who is having a hard day. Why not spend one on one time with your family, instead of sitting in the same room with them and everyone 'connecting' with hundreds of others that you really don't know?
Take the time this Christmas season to put your phone on silent. Walk away. 20 years ago you were stuck with those people - and no phone to distract you. It didn't kill you then - and you need to appreciate that time with them now.