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dinner party agony…

June 21, 2012

I was in the midst of hosting a dinner party last week when I realized that everyone at the table was actively texting while we ate.

At one point 3 of the 4 guests were actually texting at the same time.

“So sorry, this will only take a sec.”

I realized that the future I had read about in the trendy lifestyles column of the New York Times 5-6 years ago had at last arrived at my front door.

I began to see how the dinner party was nothing more than a group of perpetually distracted individuals – talking – texting – in little staccato bursts of energy. Everyone talking in soundbites as they continuously glanced at their cell phones lest they miss the latest OMG! announcement.

I noticed that the attention spans for any particular conversation lasted only as long as it took someone else – somewhere else – the time to key in their response to a dinner guest’s text. 

At times people tried to stay in the table conversation while texting at the same time. But this usually had the same effect as trying to pat your head and rub your belly at the same time. 

And when everyone is patting their heads and rubbing their bellies…well, you see where this is going.    

But it’s not just dinner parties where our texting culture leads to inattention.

I am constantly amazed at how more and more people are finding it increasingly difficult to function in public – distracted by their perpetual distractedness.

Pedestrians stepping off sidewalks without first looking to see if the way is clear.

Cyclists missing red lights.

Motorists running red lights.

Everyday I watch people walk into each other on the sidewalk. And they aren’t necessarily texting when they do it.

No wonder Zombie books are so popular right now. 

It’s utterly ridiculous. 


One Comment leave one →
  1. Marcia weiner permalink
    June 21, 2012 10:10 am

    So true! What to do about this? Have all guests put their electronics in a locked closet. Forbid texting,etc. remember when people were initially asked to not smoke in one’s home?
    The anger, the horror! time to put some rules in place.

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