A couple (LentBlog6)

We have all seen them.

(Except maybe we do not see them. Maybe what they are doing is so normal that none of us even notices any more.)

In a bank, sitting opposite each other on the soft furnishings, scrolling, waiting to be called.

Waiting in a hospital, to be seen.

To be seen.

In a cafe, or out for a meal, perhaps a special one. Or maybe just brunch. The photos of their food posted to feeds, the other kind, before a knife is lifted in hunger, all without eye contact or even speech.

A kind of glue over their eyes. If we knew better we would name it the kind of rapt attention we normally reserve for new babies or lovers.

Glued. Awed. Fixated.

Pixilated.

This is not a criticism. This is not judgement. For I am just just as guilty. I am one half of that couple.

The half that is glued, not talking, not looking around, not yet eating, not in the moment, elsewhere, connected but distant, lost in wonder for the thing in my hand, my fingers running silently and very fast.

9 Comments

  1. I still use a flip phone – so no scrolling or posting for me. It doesn’t even take photographs. Calls and texts and that’s it. Yesterday I was the only one in a packed waiting room reading a book. What’s depressing is everyone thinks it’s me who has a problem.

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  2. I am guilty. Cell phone addiction is a very real thing. I just recently noticed that I literally get shaky if I don’t have it in my pocket or in my hand. When I realized that I began the process of weaning myself from it. I need to control my phone. Not my phone controlling me.

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  3. I am glad you wrote about this. I am trying to train myself not to look at my phone often. I can actually go without it for sometime. What keeps me in it often is checking on Facebook posts and reading e-books. I need to learn and very fast at it.

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  4. Dear Anthony, we’d better all wake up from this trance. There is so much dysfunction in our world; we have to look into each other’s eyes, intensely.

    As I’ve mentioned before, I live in a small, Northern Ontario town known for its gold and snow. A few days ago, an Ethiopian Airlines plane crashed into the African soil and forever changed so many lives.

    One of the victims is from here. She was only 25. Her name is Stéphanie Lacroix, and my youngest daughter knew her, and worked with her one summer. My daughter will turn 25 on the first day of spring. What that family must be going through…

    And what does it take for us to clue in?

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  5. It is a criticism and rightly so. The disciplines for use haven’t been prescribed as yet. The machines are incredibly useful but this comes at an awful price. That awful neediness. The destruction of cara a cara discourse. The abandonment of normal memory. By contrast, I was in Arras a year ago and wandered into the town square on a sunday evening with a friend. The whole town was out having a preprandial drink – I saw only one person with glue-eye – every one else was talking, making jokes , arguing, discussing, flirting, chattering. It was as if I’d stepped back twenty years. The man to listen on this to is Simon Sinek on Ted Talks.

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  6. Texting each other, while seated at the same table, is the funniest and possibly saddest one I see. Smart phones are a whole new way to avoid face to face conversations. There is a major shipping company in my area that pays about twice what minimum wage is in our state, offers $25 a week health insurance, paid vacations and retirement plans even for part timers but doesn’t allow the package handlers working there to bring a cell phone into the business. AT ALL. They must pass through airport style security when entering and leaving the facility and phones are not allowed through. The policy is clearly written in all the paperwork that new hires get, they sign multiple forms, are told by multiple staffers, and attend videos explaining the policy before they go to work. However, it never fails that on the first day of their first shift about half of them will refuse to leave their cell phones behind and quit the job before really even starting it because of the cell phone rules. They can’t work a single shift without that phone and will go work somewhere else. It’s sad.

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  7. Hello I am writing from Turkey. My English is not so good. I just read your “Goodbye Facebook” post with the help of my husband’s translate. I feel same for Instagram that you mention about Facebook. For this reason; I deleted my İnstagram account 4 month ago. I realized that when using Instagram, I become insensitive and unhappy in my daily life. Actually deleting my Instagram account has many reason but I wrote some of them. Now, I am writing my blog. It has not many visitor yet but I feel improved. That is the most significant part. When I read your post I get shocked that people from different countries share same feeling with me. So I want to write this comment. Kind Regards.

    Liked by 2 people

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