Last week we had the pleasure of being invited to watch our friend, Addy, perform the play from her theater camp workshop. Let me tell you, the Wizard of Oz presented by little kids is pretty priceless and I nearly died of cuteness overload once the flying monkeys came out. Nearly died. True story. However, all throughout the play I found myself having to duck around the person in front of me recording their kid on their phone.
Now, before I go any further, let me say “I get it”. I have kids too and they are super cute & I want to cherish and remember every. damn. minute. It’s more than that.
Apparently, taping it wasn’t enough. Oh no. At one point he was holding TWO phones above his head to record it on both making it impossible for me to see anything. Second, he felt that the lighting wasn’t sufficient so HE TURNED ON HIS FLASH TO SHINE THE ENTIRE TIME IT RECORDED. Yeah. You thought those people holding up their entire iPads were annoying. People ahead of him kept slightly turning their heads to see who was shining that annoying light, but apparently this was Captain Oblivious in front of me.
This leads me to my rant(s).
1. When did YOU become so special
? Really, though. When did our society get so damn self-centered and clueless? When did basic manners fall to the wayside? I mean, I know this sort of shit has been going on in California for years, but we are Minnesota Nice for pete’s sake people! Every day I see basic politeness and manners take a back seat to peoples wants, needs, and this crazy sense of time we have developed. People are too hurried to be nice. People are too focused on themselves to even notice they are being down right rude. Was this guy trying to be a dickhead? My guess is that it didn’t even occur to him. Why? Because we have generally stopped caring about each other. At least, in any real or concrete sort of way. We still post shit on our Facebook accounts to make it look like we give a crap, but those are generally people far removed from us so we don’t really need to invest “real” time in anyone- just what it takes to hit “Share”. For others, we’ve developed such a level of apathy that we don’t think we can change it, so we don’t bother to do anything to counteract it & at times even let it be a license to let us join in on the problem. “Everyone else is doing it so why shouldn’t I?”
2. When did we stop just enjoying the moment? I think it’s official, people. Satan lives in your cell phone. I know it sounds crazy, but really, we are letting technology steal our lives and our memories. All of those people who were recording this moment on their phones weren’t really there enjoying their child’s play. They spent the entire time making sure that they had everything inside the screen, zooming in as necessary, etc. I don’t know how you can possibly stay in the moment enough to see the fear or the pride in your kids eye. I don’t think you get the chance to process it enough to really FEEL the moment. Yeah, you can watch it again (not that many ever do) but let me ask you something- Are your most vivid memories of something you DID or something you recorded? How often do you find yourself having to acknowledge a text or FB comment or check your Instagram while you are snuggling with your kids? How often are you out doing something with your family, taking pictures (don’t get me wrong- a few photos are great!) only to find yourself having to step back a second to post them right away? Guess what, when you do that YOU ARE MISSING OUT! You’re not really there. You are no longer in the moment- instead, you are letting it be stolen. You are giving up true connection with others for a virtual connection with many. Is that the trade you really want to make?
Oh, and if you’re a parent, your kids are watching. They think in large concrete terms. If you’re on your phone while your supposed to be playing a game with them they don’t know that you needed to check your text messages to find out what the plan is for Friday, they just assume they are less important. They are learning it’s okay to check your phone while you’re driving if it’s REALLY important. They know when you’re not really there & it makes a connection for them. And not a positive one.
So here’s my challenge:
What if we all just put down our phones for awhile and just took time to BE there and enjoy these moments? Take a picture or two then set. it. down. I have a feeling your memories will only be that much more vivid in your old age- and if not the actual picture of it, the feeling, the happiness & joy. If you think about it, none of us is really that important that we can’t just set it down- this also means that what anyone else is posting is not that important & anything YOU post is not that important. Agreed?
What if we took time to slow down and be kind to one another? Stop to think of others and how your actions effect all of those around you? Say “please” and “thank you” and “excuse me”. Smile. Open a door. Take someone’s grocery cart from them so they don’t have to walk it back or let that person with only 2 items go in front of you in line. Slow down your aggressive driving- you are only gaining 5 seconds and is it really worth it? Stop texting while you drive for pete’s sake! Again, you, me, & everyone you know are not posting anything THAT important. And for pete’s sake- just move over or politely speak up instead of writing a blog post to bitch about people *wink*