In the last few months I have tried to become aware of how much time I spend on line instead of interacting face to face with people. I am trying not to check emails on my phone constantly reminding myself that a few years ago I only got to read my emails at night.
More importantly if I am with a person, be it my kids or a friend, I try to put the phone away. Oh how hard it’s to ignore a text or the urge to reply to it! I am better at not replying when in the presence of someone, but ohhhh, I still glance at the phone to read that text. One day, perhaps.
The other day on a trip to Mohegan Sun with a friend I purposely left the phone in the room. The idea was to spend time together, the two of us, chat, laugh, do some shopping, and then hang out in the Casino in separate ways if we chose to. We did all the other things and then decided to try our luck at different tables and slot machines and reconvene later. People met at places at a set time pre-cell days, I was sure we could manage the same now. How difficult could that be?
I found out that it was next to impossible. To find someone who is at the $.25 slot machine right behind the Black Jack table and diagonal from the ticket redemption machine is like finding a needle in a haystack. There are only 6,400 slot machines, God knows how many ticket redemption things and who knows how many gambling tables. I walked and searched and every time I came out at a different end totally disoriented not knowing where I was or where I had already searched. After an hour looking, I gave up, walked back to the room and used my….cell. Within minutes we found each other.
I don’t ever want to lose the personal touch with people. I still prefer a hand written card than an e-card. An email or a phone call over a “wall post” on Facebook (that will be a different post I’ll blog about soon). I have resumed my running without music and sometimes without a watch. I am leaving my phone in the car now when walking into a store unless my kids are home, I always want to be within reach for them, but I must accept that technology has changed much of how we interact today making it easier in many ways albeit impersonal in others. My purpose now is to find balance, not to give up on one or the other, but whenever I make plans to meet a person at a certain place and time, you better believe that cell phone is going to be fully charged and in my hands.