On breaks and at lunch, on the train, in the car, at the table, on a bench, on my walk, by a fence. I’m guilty of checking my cell phone. Okay, on my walks I only take it out to snap a photo, and the only time it has rung was when I found out my mother had passed away on May 11, 2009. I was angry that at 6:40 on a Monday morning, someone couldn’t wait to speak with me. I figured it was a question about the shop, or maybe hubby searching for something at home that they felt couldn’t wait 40 minutes to find the answer.
When I heard my brother-in-law’s voice, I immediately thought something had happened to my big sissy, my heart raced. I never, ever thought my mother would have died. Never. I’m glad I had my phone that morning. I had to walk a while to get home in the peace of dawn’s light, Brinkley silently at my side. I composed myself before I called my twinsie, sure she must have also known, but she didn’t and I conveyed the sad news, and I listened as she wept.
Texting on the other hand, I love it. I love the convenience of it, knowing I can get to it when I’m at the place to do the work or find the answer. Or, to just send love notes to my children or hubby. It’s an awesome parenting tool for children who are grown, and it’s awesome to have with elderly parents, too. Check in texts.
It’s great for grocery lists, and reminders, and keeping in touch with friends who are so busy that long phone calls are put off, so a quick text conveys “thinking of you” messages.
But, my life and the lives of others, I see, have gotten more and more involved around the hand-held computer shoved in our back pockets. At lunchtime, we all visit for a while, and then our noses are stuck in our phones reading the latest on Facebook. Lots of them are lurkers, just reading what’s written and rarely posting anything. I’m a reader and a poster. I like the interaction, and I like how relationships are developed with people I have not seen in 30 + years.
There is good in it, lots and lots of good.
But, there is bad in it, too. Lots and lots of bad. As I journey on my 100 Days to Health and Happiness, I am realizing even more how much I fall into the trap of social media and it’s anything but social when I’m with my family. I think of the times I’ve sat waiting for the doctor, and wanted to play a game or two of Candy Crush while another person sits a mere few feet away from me. It’s awkward sitting there, feeling vulnerable about being in the doctor’s office, it’s a time when sticking my nose into my phone would ease my bashfulness. Thank God my earnest empathy about that person overrides my desire to crush candy and overcomes my bashfulness, and I am able to connect with them in a doctor’s waiting room — like the old days.
This week, I am leaving my phone in my purse, on ring. We do use phones and texts to facilitate business in our shop, and so, I want to hear it if business is needed, but I am going to do without “social media” and actually consider being social.
I know this will be very hard to do. It will be hard not to check to see how many of you are reading my blog today, yes, I love to check stats every few hours. “Is today’s blog a hit or a miss?” I wonder as I sneak a peek. No phone at lunch. No quick peeks at anything that doesn’t have skin and bones.
I’ll let you know how it goes. I’ll let you know tonight or tomorrow, because today, I’m going to hang out with the living.