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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Side Note

Taking a break from the year in review to share this from today:

Trey went back to school today but Kate and Chris didn't have to be in school until tomorrow.
After Kate had her driving lesson, we headed over to Panera for lunch.

As we sat, talked and ate (and the two kids acted like total fools, but that's a post for another day)
I casually watched the tables on either side of us.

To my right, there was a woman about my age or so and a man across from her. Probably her age or younger.
The ENTIRE time that they were sitting there, this woman talked on her cell phone.
The man sat there, eating his lunch, looking around, clearly bored. He didn't look aggravated, really, just bored.
After a while, he got up, cleared his tray, and returned. The woman gabbed on.
Finally, he left the table AND the restaurant, to do who knows what.
I would guess anything would be more entertaining than sitting across from someone talking on a cell phone for ten minutes.

To my left, another table; this one for four.
Two women and two kids- one looked to be a teen and one probably eight or so.
Both the adults were reading their cell phones.
The younger child was playing an ipod touch.
The teen sat and ate her meal in silence, looking out the window every now and again.
There was no conversation.
Finally, they got up, cleared their table and left.

Immediately afterward, another family sat down.
A man, his wife (I assume) and their teenage daughter.
They prayed together as a family
and then the man and woman whipped out their cell phones.
They read their phones while eating in silence.
The teenager, like the one before her, ate quietly, essentially alone.

As you can guess, I took time to share what I had observed with my kids
and to relate to them, STRONGLY, how important it is to be PRESENT with the people around you.

It is NOT okay to hold long conversations while ignoring someone sitting there with you.
It is NOT okay to eat a meal and ignore the people sitting with you at the table.

I find that many adults complain about kids of this generation being unable to relate to others,
being socially stunted,
being tuned out.

Based on what I observed today,
maybe we adults need to take a closer look at ourselves.


madammommy said...

Leeann, your observation is spot on. I see the same everywhere I go. It pains me to see the families dining in restaurants while their eyes are glued to their smart phones! There is so much talk of being connected, the world getting smaller, yet what is happening to our family time. Something for all of us to ponder upon. Great post!


Linda said...

Amen, sister!!! Look around you and practice the art of conversation!!

mdhome said...

You are right, of course, and I'm guiltier than many on that score. But, as we were just at Panera yesterday waiting for Aidan to finish swimming, can I add a plea? Let's not invite a girlfriend to Panera and spend the whole time bashing a third girl (who is not there to defend herself) AS LOUDLY AS WE POSSIBLY CAN! Some people would be better off not talking, truly. I've never wanted to hand a smart phone to two people so badly. :)

mdhome said...

Oops, sorry, that last comment was made by me. -Kirsten

Natalie said...

You're so right--great reminder! We make it a point not to even answer the phone during meals, but it's a good reminder for whenever we're together as a family--be present!

jen@odbt said...

So true. I still can't believe when I went to a restroom and a woman in the next stall was carrying on a conversation. So wrong on many levels.

Be present. great motto to live by.