Should you be reading this or listening to what your friend is saying?

I was 21 and sitting in front of a friend who had traveled across the seven seas and took out time from his hectic schedule to lunch with me. While he chattered about his life in the faraway land, I found my thoughts drifting to the cute boy who sat next to me at work. The moment I realized what was happening, I was mortified.

I was not mortified because I caught myself thinking about the cute boy; I was embarrassed because my parents had taught me to pay full attention when someone talked to me. And all other well-mannered people did the same.

But this is a decade old story.

Today, however, such embarrassment is out of question. For our parents or teachers never taught us what the socially acceptable behavior was with respect to handheld devices that are far more entertaining than any one human being.

As Jerry Seinfeld puts it, “you’d never talk to someone with a magazine thrust in front of your face…” but if it is a digital magazine confined within your tiny phone or swanky tablet, it is alright.

This does sound like my aunt’s rant, but the fact is that I am not just a victim of this social faux pas. I am also the culprit.

If you ignore me for a moment to talk to the third person on the table, I whip out my phone. If I look down at my soup for a moment, you immerse yourself into your Twitter timeline.

I constantly feel that I hang with you because the more fun person is in a different geographic location and you with me for the same reason.


2 Responses to “Should you be reading this or listening to what your friend is saying?”

  1. rechristened Says:

    Learn, learn.

  2. OMG. This is something I am going through! I think I am more of a victim and less of a culprit. But I admit I whip out my phone when I am annoyed with my companion (for having whipped out his/her phone in the first place)!

    And trust me, I have a lot of friends complaining about the same thing.
    I miss those days of undivided attention.

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