Making a Connection

Have you seen that commercial where everybody does everything with their phones? Check bank balance, pick airline seat, buy donut, trade stock, start car. Do anything as long as you never ever don’t have your phone in your hand. That commercial. Or was that real life I saw that?

Yesterday I did something I hadn’t done for ages. I stopped at the bar yesterday. Not too long ago it would have been a rare day when I couldn’t say I stop at the bar yesterday. Nowadays it’s an event. I think it came from being in the hospital for 7 months. They don’t let you drink there and if there should ever be a place where drinking is mandatory it’s the hospital. Instead they turned me into someone who can say that now when I go to a bar it’s to pick up a sandwich that I ordered. And this place has killer sandwiches! But that’s a different story.

Anyway, I got there before my sandwich was ready so I sat and had a drink, joining the dozen or so people similarly spending their mid-afternoon. I noted that there were 14 other people there and 11 of them had phones in their hands. Eight were actively typing, tapping, or swiping. The other three were, I suppose, on standby.

You know how ubiquitous cell phones are but when you see it clustered in one spot it really hits you. Just a couple of years ago if there were 14 people sitting in a bar some afternoon there would have been a couple conversations, a few people checking out the TVs hanging from the corners, somebody at the jukebox, and perhaps a card game. Today I saw 8 people more connected with somebodies not there than there. And three on standby.

I’m not sure how I feel about that. Whether they were talking among themselves or conversing electronically I still would have been there just waiting for my sandwich. Still killer. Thank God some things don’t change.

That’s what I think. Really. How ‘bout you?

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