Thursday, August 30, 2012

The New Antisocial World

This morning I woke up, rolled out of bed and made my way to grab a cup of coffee. Mad wakes up before I do, so while she is in the shower, I'll make her breakfast. We have a little routine. Afterwards, we sit, watch the news together and talk about whatever is happening or even look at stuff on the computer --together. This morning I found a little note left on the coffee maker just to let me know I was her 'everything'. Although she may have wanted a lumberjack type of breakfast, it was something my heart really needed today. We never run out of things to talk about - we're like two hens yappin' & yappin' about this-n-that. One morning, while vacationing in Provincetown, we went to the dining area of the bed & breakfast we were staying at. It was Women's Week, and needless to say the entire greenhouse-like dining room was filled with coupled up women. It was strange though, we were the only couple chitchatting and laughing. We looked around and wondered why everyone was so quiet. One couple had their breakfast in front of them, as they read the Wall Street Journal simultaneously. Most couples were on their laptops and smart phones having their breakfast as well. Not. one. peep. out of any of them. Our laughter and gossip about the night before must have disturbed the library-like atmosphere, but then one girl rose up from her table and said to her partner, "See? That's what I want! Why can't we talk like that?" She then looked at us and said, "You girls are great, I love the enthusiasm you two have. How long have you been together?"  When we said over 15 years, she dropped her jaw and thought we had just met recently. I'll never forget that morning.

Why aren't people talking anymore? Why aren't couples talking anymore? You can walk into a crowded restaurant and look at the party of five at the corner table and they'll all be texting, or at least half of them will be. Even with friendships - put the phone away. Okay, so you have an important job that requires you to have your phone most of the day. But when you're in a social setting, like dining out with family and friends, and you're texting 50% of the time, do you really think you're "good company"? Why are you "here" and not "there" where the person you're texting with is?  I don't understand why our phones hold more importance over the 'here & now'. It takes priority over the person you are spending time with. It's basically saying, "I'd much rather be with the person I'm texting with, than with you right now."  I understand taking photos and posting it up on whatever social networking you're using, but as far as constantly yappin' on your phone while you're with other people, it's annoying. Nobody wants to hear your conversation and nobody wants to be around you if you're going to be "absent" during a visit. That's basically what you're doing. You're not 'here' --- you're in a land of electronics communicating with people you'd rather be with -- plain and simple. When Madelene and I go out, (or anyone I'm with) the phone is in my pocket. If I need to, I'll snap a photo or two, send it to Twitter or Facebook --- or if someone is planning to meet us, a text or two will be sent to confirm. That's it. We've become antisocial in social settings due to social networking. I'd rather a nice little message on a post it rather than a text any given day. I miss getting a real handwritten letter rather than an email. But, that's the way of life now...sadly.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook.

7 comments:

Susan said...

You hit upon a huge problem in our society. I see it in the classroom when I have to make sure students aren't texting, but talking to each other. Sometimes one will text about how much she/he can't stand so and so while that person is speaking in class. Of course, people may do that on notepaper, but this is on Twitter with unprotected tweets.

I also note that it is really harmful in the workplace because people are so passive aggressive. No one wants to make waves, but they bitch about it online, then it comes to another's attention and feelings are hurt. But people feel safer putting in via the phone than in person. Why? What is the worst part about having a conversation? Maybe it means listening to the other point of view and actually having to remain in place.

A Plain Observer said...

I think it's more than the socialnetworking. I think it's the monotony people fall into (I have an essay like that in the book).
I always had that issue with Rene from the very beginning. He dug into his plate of food and ate, he said his dad didn't want to talk at the table, just eat. I WANT CONVERSATION!!! and my wine of course.
Love that you are writing often again. Please go on and on...

Deb said...

Susan, that must be a huge fallback with having to see your students texting every second of the day. And you're absolutely right, they tweet their ideas instead of giving their ideas to THAT person. I don't believe they want an answer or a response -- they just want to be narcissistically 'heard'. And that's that... Sad.

APO, I don't get that -- never did. To me, sharing a meal with someone isn't about the food. It's about the company, the conversation, the laughter -- yes the wine the wine!!! --- But now it's gone mad with the texting at the dinner table. For instance, I went to lunch with a friend a few months back and every single 'ding' on her phone had to be answered ASAP --- not even business related. I wanted to go home so bad because, I was alone!! (lol) And I'm guilty of taking photos at the bar or table (if need be) but I include the other person. Texts/calls can wait unless that person texting you is on their way to where you are. When we doing lunch?? OH, wait... I have a photo of you somewhere with you texting across from me at the table in Cosimos! LOL!!! (But you were showing me a photo of something) but I could have used that against you. bwahaha... I forgot about that picture. I think it's on my BlackBerry and well, that's long gone.

Xmichra said...

Agree. Just agree.

I ended up in a fight with my SIL over that. If you want to visit me, then visit me. If you want to chat with your other friend about facebook status... then there's the door.

Deb said...

Exactly my point!!!!!

The Elephant's Child said...

With you all the way. It is just plain rude to be with one person and talking/texting another in all but a small handful of cases.
I would like more talk from my partner as well but, if either of us is away, small loving notes will be slipped into their luggage. And we have been together for 35 years now.

Deb said...

Small loving notes are way better than texts in my opinion. Wow. You two have quite the history together! Kudos!