As a stay-at-home mom (more or less), I run around all day long picking up this, buying that, dropping this off, leaving other stuff elsewhere, and I’ve begun to notice a trend. Maybe this has been happening all around me and I’ve never noticed before because I was so busy, but now it’s all I can see.
When pulling into my parking space and looking around, I have observed so many people sitting in their cars with the engines running, windows up, looking down at their phones. They may be smiling goofily at the screen, staring blankly, or like one guy I saw: lips parted, slack jaw, and mouth hanging open. His looked like a caveman.
Have we become so addicted to keeping in communication that more than a few moments can’t pass without texting, Facebooking, or tweeting? I place myself in this category as well, but since becoming more aware of my behavior, I’ve started leaving my phone in my purse or a drawer in the kitchen. I know one of my friends was unhappy with me recently because I didn’t answer her question as quickly as she wanted but I realize what’s more important: my family and actually seeing/interacting with the people around me.
Parking used to mean hanging out with one’s boyfriend at “Look Out Point” and “necking,” and getting close–now it means to post one last picture on Facebook or Instagram, tweet one more thought-provoking slam of the celebrity du jour, or text a friend, never actually calling her. It has become the opposite of getting close.
Now that I am aware, I park my car and (gasp) get out of it and head into the store. While in the store, I make eye or verbal contact with the shoppers. What a concept — actual communication!!
Whatever text that has been sent to me from a bored friend can definitely wait.