This is part one in a series.
Last night, my daughters and I went out for dinner. This is extraordinary for us. Usually, on
Saturday nights, we scrounge in the fridge or get takeout and watch our weekly
After attending Saturday evening mass, we drove to a Lone Star Steakhouse because we weren’t settling for our standard takeout of Chik Fil A, Chinese, sushi or any of the usual suspects. Sitting in the lobby waiting for our table, I’d say about a third of the waiting customers were not only not engaging with one another, they were totally disengaged from one another. Why? Because they were fixed on what was happening on their individual phones or iPads. As we waited, two of the four family members seated to our right in the lobby were completely immersed in their respective devices…to the sad fact that they never once looked up or spoke to their mom/wife and grandmother/MIL. The couple across – he was phoneless, she spent the entire time exploring her phone…it’s Saturday night, that’s the best you could do?
I began thinking this: don’t families have enough that keep them separated from one another? Longer and longer work hours, high unemployment, empty wallets or numerous kid activities can cause families to go in many different directions. At a family dinner, on a Saturday evening, wouldn’t the best use of your time be to talk to one another? I’m not talking about a Walton Family dinner (although that’s not a bad idea) but how about looking up at one another every few minutes? Or talking about your respective days?
Letting your kids know you are interested in them and that you care? Letting your partner know as well?
Lone Star isn’t cheap – do you really want to spend over a hundred bucks and your only memory be of your high score in Temple Run? Are your friends on Facebook really
more important than the ones who are right in front of you? Is what passes for news these days really more important than engaging with loved ones and discussing issues that are real to you?
I’m guilty too – I missed a lot of key plays during football games because I was trying to make auto-correct be my friend when I updated my FB status. I missed key points of the Presidential debates because I was in an online argument with a total stranger about politics. I almost got hit by a car coming out of my nail salon simultaneously reading emails and walking across a super-busy parking lot.
But I didn’t miss what turned out to be the best night my girls and I had in a long time. Because I put my phone away after realizing what was going on around me. I wanted to create a memory and watch it occur through my own eyes, not through a screen.
To be continued…