After school today a few teachers met up for happy hour. We don’t do this often enough, so when the opportunity arises, I make every effort to attend! I am so lucky to work where I do. So many of us are friends outside of school and I enjoy their company so much! Five of us met up today and sat around for about two hours and it was a really great way to end a really long week!
The five us ranged in age from “20 something” to “50 something” and despite the age difference, we had a great time. We all took notice of the table behind us. Three young girls, probably in their early 20’s were sitting there. All of them had their phones in their hands, right in front of their faces. Although they were talking to one another, none of them glanced away from their phones. All three of them were on some sort of social media, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram…whatever it was, they never seemed to make eye contact with each other. It was actually kind of sad.
I have to admit, all five of us had our phones out on the table. It is crazy how much we rely on these things! I am guilty of it! I kept checking the time because I needed to pay the parking meter. A few of us were receiving text messages from our kids but none of us were really using it for anything else. Did we really need them out? Probably not, but all of us kept them right there beside us anyway, like another guest at the table!
We got onto a conversation about it. What kind of children are we raising? Can we really be out in public without phones anymore? Young kids seem to know nothing else. Every single thing that we do is being shared the moment it happens. Are we raising tech-addicted kids and is this a good thing or a bad thing? Is social media making us less social? Are our children going to be incapable of dealing with human interaction?
Last week, a new student joined our class. Today, she said, “Mrs. Sinclair, I’ve seen one of those things before!!” I wasn’t sure what she was pointing at so I asked her to show me. She got up, walked across the room and pointed to the telephone that is attached to the wall. I was flabbergasted! Most of these five and six year olds, are so unfamiliar with such an ordinary thing as a telephone. I thought about it and even in my own home, our regular phone is cordless, so imagine how foreign it must be for these kids to see a phone, with push buttons and a cord attached to a wall!
Wouldn’t it be great if we could just take the time to turn our phones off, and take the time to enjoy each other. Live in the moment, enjoy each others company and take the time to actually converse with one another. Facebook, Twitter and all the rest will be there when we are done. Post later. Enjoy life in “real time.”