Monday, August 9, 2010

What You See Isn't Always What You Get

The other night, I saw this back-to-school advert showing a kid with buds in his ears, texting away, whilst walking through his school...oblivious to everything around him.

I didn’t think much of it at first, but later I realized this ad really bothered me. The kid was totally disconnected from his world. I’m guessing he was “communicating” with his friends via electronic media, but how the hell was he ever going to have a successful personal relationship with anyone if that is _all_ he did?

It’s like putting televisions in the backseats of cars to amuse the kids. What happened to looking out the window? Or having a conversation? Or, on long trips, playing “I-spy” games? How are they going to know what a cow looks like if they don’t ever look? Even if you’re bored and  looking out the window, you’re seeing something live and in person.
And what’s wrong with us if, as adults, all we do is stare at screens and not talk to our partners? To be sure, I do my fare share of screen staring during the day at work. And yes, these days I’m an email junkie at night…but hey! I’m a widow! I don't  have anyone to play with after dark! 

The husband and I learned, through painful experience, to turn off our boxes. However engrossed I was in writing the next great American novel, I stopped when he yelled “NEWS IS ON!” That was our cue to go sit on the couch and make rude comments about the state of state's affairs. That couch time was precious during the week. The kids ….and later his father….were in bed and this was our alone time. We could talk amongst ourselves and be frank. No secret signals, eye wiggles, or ear tugs…all parts of MLSL – married-life-sign-language…just words strung into sentences punctuated with laughs, sighs, and the occasional snog. I can tell you in no uncertain terms that you do not understand the depth of missing these things until they are gone. 

People on the other side of electronic media won’t care/notice/give-a-rat’s-ass if you shut down at a decent hour. and go sit on the couch. No one out there is depending on you for conversation. No one cares what you tweet or post or comment. In cyberspace, not only can no one hear you scream, they don’t care if you do. 

No one cares if I write this blog and I’m okay with that. For me, it’s cathartic. If you read it and get something out of it, great. If you don’t, no skin off my nose. But in this particular case, if what I wrote rings even remotely true, you might want to go sit on the couch for a while.

 Tip o' the Week
If you are not getting regular, significant face time with your significant other,
STOP what you're doing right now and go set some boundaries.


  1. Excellent blog. Thanks for telling like it is. Of course, the irony is I had to be online to read it. Now if you'll excuse me, I have someone to distract...

  2. You are a wise woman, Susan ! :):)

  3. See? THIS, among other reasons, is why I've been waiting for you to blog. (There might be a contradiction in there somewhere.)