Yesterday, my cell phone went South. I just purchased my phone two months ago… and it froze while I was calling a number. Yikes! I immediately ran to the Verizon Store for assistance. By the time I got there… the phone battery was dead. They thought it might be the fact that I needed to update the software… so, I left it there for an hour while Verizon did the job.
Upon my arrival back to the Verizon Store, I discovered that my phone was a dud (something that occasionally happens) and they replaced the phone… no questions asked. I love that kind of service.
However, getting the new phone took a bit of time… (like an hour.) While they packaged up the old phone and did their thing on the computer, it gave me plenty of time to sit, and watch people. Very interesting.
The Verizon store was very busy and their little sitting area was pack with customers waiting for various services to be completed. Those folks without phones were milling about looking at new phones and visiting with each other. I watched a couple of total strangers strike up a conversation about BYU football. Another gal commented on a cute baby that a new mom was holding. In a minute they were sharing baby experiences.
On the other hand… those who still had their phone in their hands were texting, or talking to someone on their cell, even though they were just a foot or two away from another person. There were two guys, who apparently had come in together but, they spoke very few words to each other because both were busy text messaging someone else.
All this reminded me of an article I read in a magazine a few month ago, warning parents of the dangers of technology dependence. It warned parents of the growing number of young people, who lack the ability to communication one on one, face to face…due to Internet Social forums and text chats. It warned of virtual relationships…(virtual means: almost or simulation of the real thing.)
It’s easy to hide behind a computer or phone and have an “almost relationship.” If your relationship is “almost,” you don’t have to take much responsibility to keep the relationship alive… or real… just turn off the computer or hang up the phone of you don’t like what’s going on.
Now, I not ready to give up the internet, nor my phone. They’ve been a blessing in my life. (I don’t do the text thing. It seems like waste of time for me because my fingers don’t move fast enough to make it worth my time.)
However, I can certainly take a look at my own real relationships. I ask myself… Do I miss the opportunity to really get to know someone standing next to me in line at the bank because I’m chatting to my daughter on my phone? Do I spend too much time on line with virtual relationships when I could be developing new face to face friendships?
This is certainly not just a issue for the youth… but for tech minded adults too.
Lots of food for thought.
P.S. I have met lots of nice folks on line… which really makes me want to meet them in person. The virtual thing just isn’t enough. There is something to be said for face to face relationships for sure.