I like social media and technology. Both of them have been pretty good to me. I mean, I wouldn't be in my fourth year working from home if it weren't for technology. Many of my writing gigs probably wouldn't have been found if it wasn't for social media. I wouldn't be writing this blog if it weren't for social media and technology! So when I was at my ma's place yesterday to celebrate her birthday with a family member and friend, I thought it would be time for some much needed bonding. It's not like I saw the people more than once or twice a month.
Try to imagine a look of utter dumbfoundedness on my face when those two douche bags were sitting on their phones, one of them staring at Facebook statuses while the other played video after video of everything from a man carrying a dog around as he went through his daily routine to a woman doing pathetic squats with weights. Granted, my ma had stepped out for about an hour, but why was it so easy to revert to this behavior in the absence of her? Oh, by the way, the two people I'm talking about are a couple! They have been dating for less than four years yet they were sitting in the same room much preferring their phones over each other. And more insulting, over me. I am obviously a closeted delight.
Have you ever gotten stuck in a situation with someone where you really wanted to say something but didn't because you were positive they would be offended and manage to flip it by calling you a nag? Yeah, that's where I was, so I said nothing. That's why I decided to test out some activities and conversations because I refused to fuse my mind and hands with my device. Here are my findings:
- Prep. We were making some Indian food, which involved lentils, potatoes, and rice crepes. My ma had gone to run an errand and since the lentils were already done, I started peeling the potatoes. This managed to get one of them off their behinds to cut the potatoes.
- Tell stories! Being in the house I grew up in obviously brought back a lot of memories. I told a story about the first time I tried cooking eggs. My sister and I didn't get along at the time and after being the helpful sibling for too long, she refused to help me make them one day. In a huff, I attempted to do it on my own. Lacking more insight than I would like to admit, I poured way too much salt and way too much cayenne pepper (yes, Indians put cayenne in their eggs, not typically enough to make the mixture red but you know, I was a nine year old who didn't know how to measure). The eggs were inedible. I mean, I want to say they were inedible but I actually ate them, probably trying to show my sister that I didn't need her even though I desperately did. I cried while eating them. But that tragic tale made them laugh and tell their own.
- Look at the deals in the paper. Living in an apartment, I'm lucky if I get the local grocery store papers once every two months. So while sitting at the table, I literally went through the papers at my ma's place, marveling at the 2 for $6 deals on quarts of ice cream. That's a good freaking deal! I dare you to find me someone who thinks it's not.
- What's new? It's safe to say that if you don't talk to someone every week, new stuff is likely to have happened. This is a good time to catch up.
- If worst comes to worst, yes, talking about the weather is absolutely better than staring at your phone. It also happened to be snowing that day so the fact that I brought up the snow and how many inches were expected was worthy of conversation.
The point of this post is to say that talking about almost anything is better than being on the phone while with people you love and/or whom you barely see. We are not our devices. Humans are about real connections and in a perfect world, no one should have to write a blog post to explain this.
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