As I hopped in the car this morning to drive my daughter to an appointment I was looking forward to a few minutes of easy catch-up chatter, just the two of us. I was the only one with this thought. No sooner had we taken off though, than her fingers were flying across the iPhone screen dealing with a flurry of texts.
It suddenly hit me that we never get any bona fide one on one time anymore. The pipeline of intrusions is omnipresent. If it’s not texting, it’s email, or some other social media check-in. If it’s not her, then it’s equally likely to be me, or any other person present at any gathering. That is, unless we are in a glorious, increasingly rare, No Service zone.
My last posting on texting while driving, only covered the driver and safety concerns. What about concerns for more subtle dangers? What about the protection of relationships and preservation of those special moments when we can still relate to each other one-on-one? Holding a place where we can go deeper than discussing logistics and the superficialities of passing events. Are we going to let our runaway attraction to technology swallow up these fleeting, precious opportunities? Some are labeling it a smartphone addiction that is degrading interpersonal skills, especially in young users (thanks to Rhonda S for this WSJ article).
No social drinker, or recreational drug user ever started out with the intention of becoming addicted. It’s a slippery slope of denial and bargaining. I’m sure we would never intentionally set out to undermine our own interpersonal skills, but do we have the will to preserve these?
Am I moving beyond the denial phase?