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Friday, October 5, 2012

Stop! Look! Listen!

The weekend is finally here! Time to relax, and have fun with family and friends.  Yet, how can you REALLY relax and have fun with your family and friends when you never put your cell phone down?!!!
Nothing is more annoying than trying to have a conversation with someone who is constantly texting, chatting, or doing one of the million other things that modern technology allows us to do at the touch of our fingers. How does it feel when you are having a conversation with someone and someone else walks up and completely interrupts without excuse or apology? This is no different than a cell phone that is constantly on alert for incoming communication in one form or another. Is the comment someone just made on your Facebook page really so much more important than the person sitting next to you? Is the text you are reading and responding to worth missing the points your child just scored at their soccer game? Our society is so over saturated with technology and information that it’s almost impossible for most people to give 100% of their attention to one person, place, or thing. So why even bother leaving your house at all if you aren't really paying attention to where you are going or the people you are with?

Can you imagine how unbelievably rude it would be for someone to pick up a book and start silently reading it in the middle of a dinner party? Not only are you obviously ignoring the people around you, but you are also letting them know they just aren't that important to you. It occurs to me that the adult’s in today’s society should relearn the rules of childhood…”Stop, Look, and Listen.” “Stop” using your cell phone, and put it away. “Look” at where you are and commit to the people and places around you. “Listen” to the person who is talking to you attentively. I think it would be an excellent idea for restaurants to have a “Cell phone check” along with their “Coat check.”

I know that some parent’s are worried about leaving their kid’s with a sitter, and they want to be able to call and check up on their children and be reachable in case of an emergency.  How in the world did our parents and grandparents ever leave the house without modern technology? Well, they simply left a list of emergency contact numbers with the sitter. It has been my experience that if given the opportunity, children will call/text their parent all night for all sorts of reasons. From simple questions, “Can I have the last piece of pie” to making complaints “Sally won’t let me have a turn on the Wii!” Leaving a list of emergency contacts is an easy solution to allow parents to enjoy an evening out in peace, and leave their cell phones tucked away.

I propose a challenge to all my readers this weekend. Turn your cell phones off, turn your attention to your surroundings, and see how much more you and the people around you enjoy the moment together...even if it's just for that moment.

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