There is a video circulating the internet with this title. It depicts people going about their busy lives, and when they have the opportunity to sit and relax, they pull out their phones and check emails, Facebook, texts, etc. The video shows us what was missed because these people chose to engage in an electronic device rather than with the people and places around them. It has been said we are raising a generation that will not know how to interact personally with others because of the wide reaching arm of electronics. But is it just the generation we are raising or does some of that lie within our own generation?
I was at an awards ceremony for my son at the end of the school year. As is usually the case, it was a very long ceremony and it was difficult to focus and not let one’s mind wander back to the office, or what our calendar looked like for the rest of the day. I sat near the back of the room and had the chance to observe a set of parents that were seated towards the front. Their heads were down the entire ceremony looking at their phones. When their child’s name was called, the mother looked up and had to nudge the father to do the same so they could visually acknowledge their child’s presentation. Then, their heads bowed again for the rest of the ceremony; I doubt they were praying!
We talk a lot about the generation we are raising and how they will function in a society that is so dependent on non-personal engagement, but their interpretation of the importance of electronics stems from our examples. I wonder how those parents would feel if the roles were reversed and they were receiving the award with their children were in the audience, heads bowed, on their phones? I would imagine they would feel not very important! Don’t just show up for an event, actually be present at that event, feel the emotions, make eye contact, and look up!