Tuesday, June 3, 2014

A Society With Their Heads Down



“I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots." ~ Albert Einstein

One thing I have noticed a lot whenever I'm in public lately is that nobody interacts socially with each other anymore. Everyone's heads are down looking into their phones, iPads, Tablets, iPhones, Kindles, or any other electronic device. I'm surprised that everybody isn't walking around running into poles, stepping off of cliffs, walking into the middle of traffic, etc. After all, nobody raises their heads up anymore

I have especially noticed this in restaurant situations. I often see couples in a restaurant sitting across from each other while both of them are looking down at their phones the entire time. They're not even looking at each other or engaging each other in conversation. You know, that act of actually talking to one another?

At this rate, nobody will know how to socialize with each other in 50 years. We will be a planet full of extremely socially awkward individuals that have no idea how to interact with other human beings.

I have been trying to make it a habit to keep my phone in my pocket lately whenever I am out in public, in a restaurant, etc. I do not want to fall victim to this irresistible urge to always be looking down at whatever electronic device I have on me. I want to be able to enjoy my surroundings, interact with those around me, and see the world in front of me.

Have you noticed this increasingly disturbing trend? What are your thoughts?

142 comments:

  1. Keith, you re so right. I first noticed this in Europe years ago but now, here in America, it's much worse. I worry about us as a people because people are being removed from the equation.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Modern technology has many good aspects, but it can also be extremely detrimental. I'm not ancient (honest!) but I'm old enough to remember a time when people actually communicated face to face.

    I remember when long distance phone calls and air mail letters were a luxury, and people actually went to libraries to do research and check out books. I sorely miss going to bookstores and listening to LP records. And I especially miss the lost art of intelligent conversation.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I haven't really noticed because even my most tech focused friends are more interested in engaging with one another. We may use our phones to take or share pictures but I rarely, if ever, see anyone checking their email or texts or whatever. We seem able to stay present, which is a lovely thing.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I've certainly noticed. Sad to see a whole family in a restaurant doing that. Glad my wife and I aren't attached to our devices.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Long ago, I remember reading one of the books in the Isaac Asimov FOUNDATION series that described exactly that: a society where individuals did not interact except via electronic devices. (In this book, written long before smart phones or even cell phones, the primary communication was big television screens.) People lived alone, and couldn't bear the thought of physical or face-to-face contact. Scary, huh?

    ReplyDelete
  6. I think it's impossible not to notice this trend. I think the young-in's will be more affected than our age group. My husband and I always try to keep our phones put away when we are in a restaurant, but it's a common day occurrence to see people completely absorbed by their phones. It's sad, I hope we don't become like Japan where the birth rate is dropping and more young people are satisfied with their relationship with technology vs a real person.

    ReplyDelete
  7. My husband does it, without fail. We leave the house, he grabs his iTouch, and that becomes his companion for dinner, theater, live shows, etc. I've grouched at him, but he just laughs at me. I've seen families on the 4th of July all looking at their phones instead of up at the fireworks in the sky (whole families, not just the kids). My daughter would sit and text the whole time her grandparents were here visiting if I didn't tell her to put up her phone. I could go on, but mostly I'll just nod my head in agreement with what you're saying! I don't like it.

    I like the quote. Albert knew what he was talking about. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Aloha,

    As I write this, I have the "Look Up" video playing...and my arms are full of goose bumps...

    The link is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7dLU6fk9QY

    Our three sons were given a DS (tablet thingy) for Christmas and when it was thrown in the toilet this past month, I was THE happiest parent...

    It sounds dramatic, but now I have my sons back... sure they watch TV and play on the computer, but NO longer do they just sit and ONLY want to play with Mario and his stupid brother.

    NOW, they play with each other and I would rather deal with tears, shouting and a messy room than walk into the silent house that once was.

    PS... I bought a ten-game wooden board game thingy and our eldest loves checkers and can't wait until I teach him chess.

    He'll be 7 next month....

    Thanks for this post, Keith and have a non-social media day :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. You are right, Keith. It is quite something to be in a restaurant and watch people at various tables communicating with devices rather than the people they are eating with. I myself would be guilty of looking at my device if I were having coffee somewhere alone, for example, as somehow it feels awkward just sitting; but not when I am eating with others. It is a sad state of affairs when those on the other end of a device become more more important than those in one's immediate environment. I am with the man above...it is really sad if one walks into someone's family home and is greeted by the silence of people sitting in different corners non-interacting with one another. I just wonder what the next step will be in this techno-dependency. What will children raised with all this technology be like as adults? Will they be able to hold a real-life conversation at all?

    ReplyDelete
  10. I am ashamed to say that maybe I am also part of this bad bad trend!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. excellent post Keith! a year or so ago I saw on the news where they were talking about this-and especially in big cities people were walking into things-light polls, through red lights, into buildings etc.
    we have friends that come down to visit us every november-we see other once a year-and would you believe that a couple of them don't interact with the group but rather glued to their phones-I agree a very sad state of affairs

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ps 10 years ago when we retired (no texts and smart phones back then) we gave up our cell phones we have a trak phone to take along in the car-but I refuse to get involved in texting

      Delete
  12. its distraction...our communication is digital, our apps keep us distracted, we have bought into the need to be fully connected, available and have to update our status...we miss much in our distraction...

    i dont have a smart phone...dont really want one...i def need techno breaks...

    ReplyDelete
  13. Phones are a useful tool, but so is a hammer - and I don't feel the need to check on my hammer every five minutes, or take it to dinner!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

    ReplyDelete
  14. The restaurant one really gets me. Even if the phone is on the table it sends the message that whatever might come through has priority over the person across. Unless someone is in the hospital leave it in the car! Of course I'm totally guilty of being on my phone in public. I'm an introvert so it's a crutch for me. Need to work on that!

    ReplyDelete
  15. It is probably worse than you think, maybe phone sex is replacing the real thing! I don't even own a cell phone, not even a dumb one!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Oh yes Keith....in fact I posted something similar on 'thefeatherednest' a couple of years ago.
    We have a cel phone (just a little flip phone) which we carry with us when we are out BUT it is not on. It is only in case we have an emergency. After all, the whole idea of leaving the house is to LEAVE it ,right?
    This need for constant communication and connection boggles my mind.....

    ReplyDelete
  17. It is just plain RUDE to be using cell phones when in the company of another person, especially during a meal. Of course there are always exceptions to that rule, but still...

    ReplyDelete
  18. I agree it is rather distressing. It's ironic that it's called social media, when in fact it is very antisocial.

    ReplyDelete
  19. My husband and I leave our phones off when we're out and about. We do check them from time to time - mostly for missed calls, rarely for emails - but only when it doesn't interfere with whatever it is we're doing - running errands, having lunch, talking to each other in the car.

    Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption

    ReplyDelete
  20. yes! YES! i HATE it when people can't put down their phone or gadget away. it irritates me the most when people busy with their phones when we're sitting in a table together. i have a friend who is ALWAYS on his phone, even when driving. i have constant fight with him on this subject. what i hate the most is that when people make distance with people near them constantly to be on their phone, living in social media world.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I see this trend everyday. It's a pity. There will be a big price to pay one day.
    It's good to have all these technologies and they are very useful but in my opinion, they are being abused because people are addicted to using them.
    It's very disturbing but it's better than carrying guns.
    JB

    ReplyDelete
  22. I've been trying more and more lately to NOT use my phone. The past two nights...I turned it off at 5:30pm or earlier and didn't turn it back on until the morning. I sure had a lot of notifications come morning time, but it was such a nice and peaceful evening. I got to enjoy the NOW.

    ReplyDelete
  23. About a year ago, I implemented a new rule .... no electronics during dinner ... that means NO TV, NO phones, NO Kindles, NO Ipods ... whether we are eating IN or OUT :)

    ReplyDelete
  24. I've grown very familiar with the top of my daughter's head...she's learned that when I begin inserting random, nonsensical, comments into conversations with the top of her head that it's time to put the phone away and, quite literally, have face time. I have a trac fone for emergencies and calling my mother, and that's ALL it's used for.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I see that in restaurants a lot and I think it is really stupid to sit on a restaurant and stare at your phone all the time. I mean, there is a human being sitting in front of you so it would be a lot nicer to talk to that person. I always feel sorry for people like that. I do not use my phone much when I have company.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Yep, I've seen it time and time again, rather pathetic in some situations like the restaurant one. My phone is only on when I am home, when I'm not, it is off and in my pocket.

    ReplyDelete
  27. This is true every day people communicate less in person and through text messaging and social networks and even family reunions see people like that. Dear now I´m followig you in GFC #855 and Bloglovin´#187
    I hope your follow me back in both!
    xx

    www.sakuranko.com
    I want Invite you to my Giveaway! For win a Dress, Blouse or a Bag~ The winner choose the prize!

    ReplyDelete
  28. I have a cell, and I answer when it rings, luckily not often, I don't have any gadgets,but i do have my camera and there I'll take chances to get exactly the angle i want, If I have to lie down on the ground to get it...here in my town they call me madame photographe, I don't talk but I always smile....:)

    ReplyDelete
  29. It really annoys me that people are always on their phone, especially when in social situations. It's a lack of respect.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I find it very annoying, actually! I am one of the few left who actually communicates face to face on a daily basis. I don't have a cell phone and I don't have a portable computer...well, I have a laptop, but I only use it at home.

    ReplyDelete
  31. my husband and i are definitely guilty of this too. but we are getting in the habit of not being on our phones when we're out to eat. it's funny because we don't do this when we're home eating. we have conversations and talk about a lot of things but when we're out for the first 5-10 minutes we're just on our phones and when our food comes out then we're all chatty. there is just something about the phone and the need to be connected to all the real time fast information sharing. i think my habit also stems from my previous work when i used to handle digital accounts for the organization i used to work at. i was always afraid that we would be missing out on some "conversation" or an important work email.

    ReplyDelete
  32. My husband and I aren't big mobile phone users. But the thing I hate the most is seeing people text when driving. Then second, texting during a shared meal.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Yes, I've noticed it. It makes me sad to see people sitting together in restaurants, all looking at their mobile devices, not talking. Even young children are busy with their games or devices. It really makes a difference when we LOOK at each other and talk.

    Larry and I have a "rule" that we don't look at our phones while we're eating together, unless we need to look something up in regards to our conversation. lol

    ReplyDelete
  34. So true..This is one of the reason that i deactivated my FB because i was so addicted and keep checking on the newsfeed..

    ReplyDelete
  35. I totally agree with this post. I don't even have a Smart Phone, but an old "brick" that is over four years old. One reason we haven't upgraded, aside from the cost, is that I don't want to be tempted to be constantly checking or playing with my phone. My son just graduated from high school and still doesn't have a phone and he survived just fine. This trend of becoming so attached to our electronics is certainly not a good one.

    ReplyDelete
  36. I have noticed this and I don't like it one bit. Excellent post Keith!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Great post, Keith! As I read this the first thing I thought of is, These people are going to need a lot of chiropractic adjustments!! LOL. I'm certainly glad I have a cell phone and a laptop, but I know I'm quite addicted to them! Technology is a wonderful/weird thing, isn't it? I keep thinking about all the changes that have come about in the last few years, and I guess it really isn't that different from what my grandparents experienced in their lifetime. If my grandma was alive today, (I don't know her birthdate and need to look it up.....but based on how old I know my mother would be if she was still here) ...my grandma would be approx 120 yrs old! She traveled from Wisconsin to Iowa in a COVERED WAGON!! Just think of all the inventions she saw and experienced! I believe, as in all things, though....there's good and there's bad associated with technology. Have you seen the "actors being digitized" news report? Now, THIS creeps me out! http://www.cbsnews.com/news/future-of-movies-digital-cloning-in-maleficent/
    P.S. I read your comment about Karen's blog...Small World! :)

    ReplyDelete
  38. It's too true and my phone is with me nearly everywhere. Coffee shops here can be some of the most silent places, defeats the purpose of leaving home for coffee. But I say - can be. Yesterday the police were out ticketing people driving out of the local grocery with a phone in their face. Stirred up some interesting FB conversation. I never use mine in my car without parking first. Too many accidents here with "distracted" drivers. See them go through red lights here all the time.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Yes, and pedestrians have been injured walking into things.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Yes, of course they all do it, at home, at school, restaurant, waiting for train or bus, operating room, well, I'll let that one go. But, it's there, and we've got to live with it, hummmmmm.

    ReplyDelete
  41. we'll be like that bruce willis movie - just send our 'perfect likeness' out into the world while we live our lives in a dark room. :)

    ReplyDelete
  42. Yes I HAVE noticed it! I had a close relative use her smart phone all through a birthday meal at a restaurant. And I see people texting while driving, which is against the law now I believe. I think the new tech is great. BUT there is a time and place for everything and apparently parents do not teach that to their children, let alone themselves. It is just rude to use your phone while among friends. But no one seems to care anymore. People re actually running into things on the street because of this. It is not real life, it is cyber life.

    ReplyDelete
  43. I often see groups of people gathered around at tables in restaurants, with everyone staring at his/her phone. But I'm also sometimes out with someone who pulls out the phone to respond to a text or check email or whatever...and I'm left sitting there with nothing to do. So I pull my phone out and check it, as well. Often that's what happens with groups of people doing that. When everyone else at your table is on a phone, what are you going to do? Stare at them? In that sense, it's contagious!

    ReplyDelete
  44. Isn't this a saddening sight to see? I had an eye-opening experience when my friend said to me 2 years ago: "Why can't you put the phone away while I'm here. I don't have cell reception in your house, why can't you pretend you don't have any either and we just enjoy our time together." Boy, that was a slap in the face but a much needed one. Now I'm one of those people who questions Smartphones in general. I mean, I am truly happy they exist because otherwise I wouldn't be able to constantly talk to you during the day without you physically being here. But that's pretty much my only reason why I use it. I deleted Facebook because its way of consuming me finally made me sick. And I only check Instagram and What's App at nights when I get home. The more I let go off my Smartphone the happier it makes me, it feels like a weight is lifted off me. Sometimes I wonder if my next phone won't be a Smartphone. But then....the navigation can come in handy, too - and of course taking pictures. See - I'm addicted as well :( But I do love turning my phone on silent and when I meet people or go out into the woods I turn the internet reception off and simply enjoy the moment - without my phone being part of it. I sure hope Albert won't be entirely right...but I have a feeling he could be...
    Another amazingly thought-provoking post, honey! This is one of the reasons why I love you so much! <3

    ReplyDelete
  45. I only have a dumb-phone, if I checked that thing every couple of minutes I certainly would have a problem.

    ReplyDelete
  46. It seems crazy to have to *make an effort* to not isolate yourself, but I suppose some people have to do that even without smart phones...

    xx
    LuLu
    Breakfast After 10

    ReplyDelete
  47. The sobering thing is that soon there will be a generation that never knew anything different...that's frightening.

    ReplyDelete
  48. I've been watching this trend for several years. The phones are off during dinnertime. If you insist on having the phone on then you have to leave the dining room to communicate. Everyone just turns them off. What really bothers me is when they are driving. Scares me to pieces.

    Hubby and I have a cell phone. Just one and I rarely carry it, but you can't text. We will never text. For the very reason you wrote this post.

    Have a fabulous day. :)

    ReplyDelete
  49. It is scary thing that is happening. And it is not just the lack of socialization, but the lack of being in the moment. Every event, sunset, adventure now needs to be marked with a selfie on Instagram. We are capturing life, not living it. I find myself disliking social media more and more, but it is a part of the times, and instead of disliking it, there needs to be a compromise on how to use it effectively without getting caught up in it.

    ReplyDelete
  50. All the people that are so proud to not own a smart phone remind me of all the people who either never owned a TV, or only watch PBS. I own all this crap and use it often. I will occasionally check out my phone at dinner and yet I can still carry on a conversation. Yes, technology can be abused, but you can also use it and not abuse it and it is great.

    Proud owner and user of a smart phone, a tablet, a PC, a TV a radio and a proud member of the 21st century.

    Sent from my smart phone.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Most of the time I leave my cell at home. I don't know why I have it.....I really don't like talking on the phone and I refuse to text. When I was young we mostly wrote letters but soon everyone had a phone in their home. That was wonderful to be able to actually talk to a person. Now it's back to writing again and I've been there. No thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  52. We were on a road trip with a full car and it was really quiet.. I later learned my son and his friends were texting each other while sitting next to each other in the back seat! For me, meals and a few hours before bedtime are a technology free zone.
    Thanks for another though provoking post Keith. Hugs!

    ReplyDelete
  53. Yeap, I'm an addict. Sometimes I deliberately stay away from all devices and force myself to read my book or focus on an activity that doesn't require using the Internet. It's soooo hard to stay away though.

    ReplyDelete
  54. I see people doing this... I'm addicted to my phone but when I am out in the company of other people I put my phone away on vibrate. I might check it once or twice but I don't live on it when someone is there. I would hope they do the same thing ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  55. I often see young and mid-aged people watching their devices, even in transport, underground, bus, tram, etc. Their faces are smiling, thinking, their fingers are taping, playing in games etc. What a socialization!

    ReplyDelete
  56. oh yes, this is rampant! Einstein sure was a visionary! Too bad he was right.
    you might want to turn that phone off while it is in your pocket, really not healthy, dangerous actually. I only use a phone for short periods and rarely have it on, will not visit on it. But at home, yes, i am on the computer a lot, but no wireless in the house. I have a friend who goes into homes and business and teaches them how to turn all these wireless gadgets off so that they can regain health that it is destroying. So sad. Life out of balance. Thank you for stopping by, so good to hear from you.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Yes, it's as concerning as it is annoying - especially when I'm on a date and he fondles his precious phone while reading and sending texts. There's a wonderful convenience factor to it all that easily bleeds into a pathetic, "I'm so important I've gotta be virtually connected with the world and oblivious to all things and people that are really important" factor.

    ReplyDelete
  58. This is a sad indictment of our technological age - particularly with the young who don't seem to be able to do anything without a phone stuck to their ear. I remember the days when we didn't even have land lines and had to go to a telephone box if we needed to make a call. And oc course there was a lot of letter writing and the sending of postcards for short messages. I think we were all better off then - but that is probably what all old people say!

    ReplyDelete
  59. Love the quote. Someone shared it on FB recently and it really makes you think, doesn't it? I don't think he's too far off the mark. My family and I have been discussing this lately. Want to be proactive and continue to cultivate real relationships now and in the future.

    ReplyDelete
  60. It's definitely a sad commentary. That's one reason I don't own such devices. I'd rather talk to someone than be stuck staring at a screen.

    ReplyDelete
  61. You know the time will come when people sit opposite each other texting each other rather than conversing.

    Idiots.

    What could be nicer than sitting together, eating, drinking, talking, laughing, even arguing.

    Idiots.

    ReplyDelete
  62. Hi Keith .. the only reason they themselves that are staring at a bright screen or squinting right at it up to their eyes ... is because this 'idiot' moves out of their way ... very frustrating!!

    I don't use a phone in public often .. and always do .. tucked into a corner somewhere ...

    Worse at the lecture yesterday was the young lady in front of me who turned on her ipad, then had to make adjustments to the settings and then tried to type what was being said .. impossible!! then switched off, then switched it on again .. very irritating to her two neighbours ..and the person sitting next to me ... I was making notes with a pencil and paper ...

    But communication is appalling .. and is getting worse ... talking to another ... sometime never ..

    Cheers at least you're in a happy position to much enjoy your chats and techie visits!! ... Hilary

    ReplyDelete
  63. Haha, yep, I noticed and guilty as charged. Double D and I have been together 24+ years, so sometimes we run out of things to talk about while dining out. But I try really hard to resist the urge for as long as possible.

    ReplyDelete
  64. I hear you - and I agree. If I am out with people, electronic devices are (shock, horror) turned off.

    ReplyDelete
  65. I see this all the time and it makes me so sad. What makes me more sad and afraid is seeing people driving along doing it. I watched a kid run into a curb today because he was texting. I just don't get it!

    ReplyDelete
  66. My thoughts exactly.. I hate it when the person sitting opposite me buries his or her nose inside the cell phone...I often see other people doing that...a line has to be drawn..I dont get it...why do people seek company in gadgets when they have people in flesh and blood sitting next to them...sometimes I get so frustrated...

    ReplyDelete
  67. I feel Albert Einstein got it right.

    In one word, tedious.

    ReplyDelete
  68. Albert was genius and so so right.
    I find with some people who always have their electronic device on them my conversations with them have changed. I go silent - it is off putting and insulting to try and gain the attention of a bent head. Further, it's humiliating to speak to the bent head and it says "huh" or doesn't even look up.
    I think physiologically we'll change too -chuckle- to compensate for being able to sidestep poles and miss objects whilst keeping said bent head.
    The shape of our necks will eventually evolve into something else........oh dear I'd best go now........

    ReplyDelete
  69. It's interesting. I was waiting for Mica's name to be called to get a haircut. I thought, "Hey I have lots of books in my car trunk from when I showed the illustrations to my students." I grabbed a handful, and read to my kids. Yes my head was down reading. I was thinking, "I wonder what everyone around me thinks of me reading to my kids instead of playing on my phone with them?"

    Another event is swimming lessons. I was talking with one of the moms there. She had her head in her phone, but was still talking to me. Her son's go to my son's school. She didn't know who their friends were, what teachers they had in the past were and more. I don't go pick my kids up from school, Dad does that, but we as a family talk everyday. We have dinner, and breakfast together always. I was thinking...what a slacker of a mom.

    Yes it bothers me that many have their heads down.

    I have an old flip phone, and not a smart one. Partly is money. Another part is because I don't want to be that way.

    ReplyDelete
  70. You are so right Keith, I too notice the same thing. Good going with keeping your phone in your pocket in certain time. I also do a pretty good job at not being attached to my smartphone and I like it that way.

    Madison

    ReplyDelete
  71. Keith
    Are we not all part of this problem?
    He says
    Typing away with his head down

    ReplyDelete
  72. How you always get hold of such issue, reach their heart and discuss it so beautifully ... Indeed, even I've been doing this lately, and yes, I regret ..

    ReplyDelete
  73. I am an Einstein admirer to begin with, wonderful quote, what vision he had. I am guilty of always checking my phone, it is so addictive. I try to be quick but that's not good enough. We have to put them away especially the kids.

    ReplyDelete
  74. I know what you mean Keith and I have noticed this trend specially now that I taking the subway ~ Everyone is just looking or playing with their phones ~ It has its uses but I pity the children growing up now ~ How socially awkward they are and to think that people skills are highly valued in our company ~ This is good reflective post ~

    ReplyDelete
  75. I see it everywhere. And it is only getting worse

    ReplyDelete
  76. I applaud you - you are absolutely correct - 1000% correct. I personally am so sad with that - socialization is going to be a thing of the past. Sad.

    ReplyDelete
  77. Yes, I too have noticed the same thing and I think it is sad!! They are so busy telling people about what they are doing, that they don't even see the world around them.

    ReplyDelete
  78. I've noticed it and it upsets me. I have cell phone, I-Pad, Facebook etc. but I try not to let them rule me. Animals and nature comes first. You always think of interesting subjects to post about.

    ReplyDelete
  79. I've noticed this too. Whenever I'm with other people I put my phone away so that I'm not distracted by it.

    ReplyDelete
  80. Yes , I've noticed this trend. On the other hand , I am one of the few people who has never owned a cell phone. But I am getting an ipad.

    ReplyDelete
  81. You're not the only one! I still cannot believe that parents are allowing 2 year old children to entertain themselves with an iPhone or iPad. Since the child's brain and other organs are still being developed using an electronic so closely and frequently is proven to cause various cancers and other health issues. Child endangerment, anyone? At least wait until they can ride a bike by themselves. Luckily, I do not have a smartphone and cannot access Facebook, Instagram, etc or internet. This has allowed me to not be sucked into that urge to constantly be looking down. Kudos to those who resist the temptation and give social interactions a second chance.

    ReplyDelete
  82. I see it all the time and I feel that people are missing out...they are connected yet so disconnected.

    ReplyDelete
  83. I see this all the time I go to town.
    Call me crazy, call me old fashioned. But I don't have a cell phone. And I refuse to get one. Hubby has one. But then again I am with him 24/7! I make him put it away or turn it off when we go out.
    Cheri

    ReplyDelete
  84. That's all I see anymore. Now I must confess to doing it on occasion but I try to be mindful about it. If you don't look around now and then, you'll miss something wonderful. I don't feel sorry for the people who do miss out.

    ReplyDelete
  85. Oh yes, I've certainly noticed! Even my own kids are doing it. And accidents are happening all the time. There was a story of a woman who feel off a pier and into the ocean because she was so busy texting, she wasn't paying attention to where she was going! And hers is not the only story like that. If you search on google, you'll find many such happenings. I find it rather sad. Not only do we not speak to one another anymore, but by keeping our heads down completely absorbed by technology, we don't even notice the miracles around us, the simple but spectacular world that surrounds us. Very, very sad...

    ReplyDelete
  86. Yessir, have certainly noticed this alarming trend. Why are our phones so much more alluring than each other? Such a strange turn of events, but I understand it. Smart phones are so dashed smart, probably smarter than the company we keep, lol! Otherwise, why would we prefer to be looking at them?

    ReplyDelete
  87. Yes, I have noticed! And I am addicted to my phone, but I absolutely put it away when we go out to eat. My daughter is a hopeless case, though. I think the same way you do...I don't want to be looking at my phone when I'm with my family, or outside and could be looking at something beautiful.

    I do look at my phone, however, when I'm in an awkward situation, like in the elevator at work. I'm awkward and shy, anyway...I use my phone as a shield in situations where I feel uncomfortable. :(

    ReplyDelete
  88. I have noticed it so much so that I threatened to get a cell phone jammer and have it in my apartment when ever anyone came over. It irritates me to no end.

    ReplyDelete
  89. No Facebook, I fear it would topple the who of me. No smartphone either, because it's that rare other person looking up who is worth sharing the world with. People will learn this by and by.

    ReplyDelete
  90. As a matter of fact, I do have a certain nephew I love who does start checking his smartphone in the middle of a dinner at our house. I do use my iPhone a lot and I should be careful. You're absolutely RIGHT!

    ReplyDelete
  91. I have a screen in front of me most of the time, when I'm at home - I'm a writer, it's in my job description ;-)

    But I was at a concert recently - enjoying the music, dancing, having a drink, feeling the atmosphere. All around me, people were recording it. Not enjoying it, but taking some substandard copy that they'll struggle to hear because the sound is always rubbish. I know I enjoyed the gig more than any of them!

    ReplyDelete
  92. I'm not concerned at all. People have been worried about this for ages. Back then it was about letters, express letters, newspapers, etc. etc..

    And in a few years, people will be complaining and fussing over the next technological advancement.

    ReplyDelete
  93. I've most definitely noticed this trend - it would be nearly impossible to not notice it. When you spend time with someone, it should be face-to-face interaction, not half-hearted glances while peeking up from an iPhone. This bothers me more than I can express.

    If it were my choice I would throw every iPhone in the Indian ocean. But I don't think that's a very realistic scenario..

    ReplyDelete
  94. I have noticed that, and I try very hard to not be guilty. When I am out with the hubby or friends, I am with them.

    ReplyDelete
  95. My sentiments precisely, Keith!
    I make it a rule never to take any electronic device with me when I am in anyone's company...especially in a restaurant (co-incidentally, I have just written a poem about this very subject!)...it seems so bad mannered...

    ReplyDelete
  96. I've noticed it anywhere now, I think I'm one of those people that always checking phones, But I always make sure that I know when to stopped and have quality time with my family and friends. Great post, Keith:)

    ReplyDelete
  97. I have noticed that too, but I don't mind it too much most of the time. I've always been quite socially awkward way before I got a cell phone. So if the other person is on a phone and not paying attention to me, then I feel more relaxed.

    ReplyDelete
  98. Keith,

    Indeed, you have highlighted a very annoying trend, especially in the wrong environment. Checking with mobiles etc, may be fine, but it irritates me greatly when visitors do it, while at dinner, or visiting in my home, or at a restaurant. Can we not survive without being tethered to the immediate moment!!!
    Thank you for visiting my Blog Keith. Always appreciated.
    Eileen

    ReplyDelete
  99. I've definitely noticed this trend. In 50 years we'll be socially awkward unless we communicate through technology. In which case, we'll be the coolest people on the Internet!

    My family and I have a no phone rule during dinner. We leave our phones in the living room (or in the car if we're at a restaurant) and don't get them until dinner is done. We've had some great conversations because of this! :)

    ReplyDelete
  100. I noticed this the last time my husband and I went out to breakfast. There was a whole family sitting near us: dad, mom, and a couple of adult-ish kids. They never once said anything to each other, but were each engaged the whole time with their phones, texting away or whatever. I thought it was sad. I don't allow phones at the dinner table. Ever. Our rule is that we just let the phone(s) ring. Dinnertime is OUR time after a long day away from each other at work.

    ReplyDelete
  101. Yes, I have noticed this, and it gets worse and worse! The lovely refreshing thing about being in France and it's restaurants is that people were talking and leaving their devices in their pockets and purses. It was wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
  102. Neither my husband nor I have a smart phone as yet,( long story). However he pretended to scroll through his regular cell phone, when we were waiting for our flight.LOL

    ReplyDelete
  103. Oh, how I hate this! Walking through interesting places with heads down. More than once, someone has grabbed and saved one from stepping out into traffic.

    ReplyDelete
  104. I don't get it. But then I'm not a big phone person. I'd rather talk with someone in person than on the phone. I think it's totally rude to have your phone out while sitting with someone in a restaurant. (I take mine out to snap a food photo sometimes, but that's about it!)

    ReplyDelete
  105. YES! Oh my goodness, and I totally got swept in when I got my first Kindle Fire. Since then I've put limits on it. I only check into social media certain times of the day, and I have to be in the world a certain amount of time to balance my electronic time. We only have 1 phone with us when we go out to eat, and that helps. It's a strange world we live in, eh?

    ReplyDelete
  106. I've been thinking about this for a very long time but more so lately. It's awful, the way society hangs their heads to be so attached to their device.
    I picture everyone diddling on their phones and there's something terrible going on in the sky but only the birds know and they are flying in one direction because something bad is about to happen. The birds can see it, but the peeps are clueless.
    I leave my phone turned off most of the time. I check it once a day and nothing is that pressing that I need to talk or txt people all day long.

    ReplyDelete
  107. I can only guess that this new 'trend' will be the lifeblood of a number of professions in the coming decades....like physios, psychologists, massage therapists etc. There will be a fortune to be made on the heads/necks of this generation of pigeon-people!!

    ReplyDelete
  108. Technology has brought with it a brand new type of rudeness. The number of times somebody actually visited me and spent most of their time chatting or texting away on their mobile phone. It hurts my feelings and one time, I left my own house for forty five minutes. When I got back, my visitor was still chatting away. Didn't even notice I'd gone.

    Gary

    ReplyDelete
  109. I enjoy food much too much to share a meal with a phone!

    ReplyDelete
  110. At first I thought this was a post about prayer :) But even some people probably tires to do that via cell phones and ipads

    ReplyDelete
  111. My husband and I notice and comment on this a lot. I've been guilty of pulling my phone out while we're out to dinner to take a silly pic for Instagram. He doesn't act like it bothers him, but I really should be more courteous of our time together. Thanks for the reminder, Keith!!

    ReplyDelete
  112. It's very disturbing! My son has a cell phone so that he can stay in touch with us and in case of emergency. I notice very young children walking and looking at their phones or ipods, very sad. They need to have a ball to bounce.:)

    ReplyDelete
  113. I read your post about technology when I was in the waiting room at the doctors office earlier this week. When I looked around the waiting room, everyone except the very old people were looking at their cell phones.
    Ouch. I fear I'm drifting over to the dark side :(

    ReplyDelete
  114. The situation is not a bit different here… People are glad to share through gadgets but not touched by real. My communication is cut off virtual once I am out of home… I don’t own a smart phone and I also dial or receive call occasionally.

    ReplyDelete
  115. Yeah, I've noticed this too! Pretty sad.

    ReplyDelete
  116. I could not agree more! It's my pet peeve. When we go to a restaurant or sit down to dinner, my companion will rue the day he/she pulled out his/her phone. GRRR. Truly, Einstein nailed that one.

    ReplyDelete
  117. Not guilty on this one. I tend to get told off for not responding..but that's probably because i'm the generation before it all took off. But you're right, it's crazy to arrange to meet someone then not engage with them because you're too busy engaging with others.

    ReplyDelete
  118. It is quite frightening that people seem to think virtual is more interesting that the reality around and in front of them. I am no Luddite but do not think this is really progress.

    ReplyDelete
  119. I notice it a lot on our employee bus. No one talks anymore. I don't mind so much on public transportation, which I take occasionally. it's incredibly rude when people are in public together (like at dinner) and everyone is on their phones. Unless you're looking up some information there is no call to be on FB while at dinner.

    ReplyDelete
  120. A society burying their heads in... the sand? No, not even ostriches do it. :-) True! But we do bury our heads in our gadgets. Great post.

    Greetings from London.

    ReplyDelete
  121. Yes, it is an epidemic, isn't it? I am glad though that there are many of us who notice and try to turn the tide.

    ReplyDelete
  122. Yes, I have noticed this and I am afraid of what the future holds..have we forgotten human interaction???

    ReplyDelete
  123. Haha, I love that quote from Albert Einstein. He was definitely ahead of his times.
    I couldn't agree with him, or you more!

    ReplyDelete
  124. I'm guilty of it. I'm stopping tomorrow. I swear...

    ReplyDelete
  125. It's amazing how everyone wants to interact online, but try to get people together for a party or something, then suddenly everyone is "busy". Yes, I have noticed this. I am guilty of doing it myself at time, but never when I am with another human. That's just rude. I will do while waiting at the dentist or doctor because those waits are always brutal.

    ReplyDelete
  126. Perhaps virtual world is replacing loneliness so much that people are forgetting that they are not alone, even if they are surrounded by family, friends and relatives. The underlying or root cause is more deeper, I guess! Nuclear family is turning to nuclear individual.

    ReplyDelete
  127. We are all enchanted to the virtual world ... good or bad, we can't judge ... but perhaps, it does help us at times when we are alone :-)

    ReplyDelete
  128. Oh my friend, I have been thinking about this a lot lately. I don't have all of the electronic luxuries, mostly because they keep coming up with someone new, and I don't want to have to keep up with it all. Often times when I'm out with friends, they will get their ipod out or look on their facebook and talk about the latest happenings. I just think to myself, "what happened to the good "one on one" conversation that we once had?" What an important and wonderful post this is.

    ~Sheri

    ReplyDelete
  129. Went to visit friends in the 'big city' recently and noticed this a lot. Phones are prevalent in my small town too but it seemed more prevalent in the city. My husband and I spent a few dinners spying on all the other tables with people staring at their phones. I was very sorry to hear a friend exclaim after a 4 hour dinner that it was the longest she had ever seen anyone go without looking at their phone. The internet is fabulous and all but if I have the chance to spend time with people I like I consider it rude of me, or them, to pick up a phone while hanging out together. and now, after saying that, I feel incredibly old ....

    ReplyDelete
  130. Yes and we are all culprits in it

    ReplyDelete
  131. Keith, I must be one of few people that does not own an iphone. I do see what you are seeing, people can not stop looking at their phones.. Sad to see!

    ReplyDelete
  132. It disturbs me greatly....I refreshed myself so greatly this past week when I left it all behind and frankly have never really been the type to be caught up in it...but I find it's easier all the time...kind of like getting old..one day you wake up and you're wrinkled

    ReplyDelete
  133. I don't have a mobile phone and neither does my partner, so when we're out we're always paying full attention to each other, or sometimes eavesdropping on other people.

    ReplyDelete
  134. Oh yes I have noticed this trend. Whatever happened to paying attention to the person next to you or in the same room? All too often visits from family or friends ends up with them spending way too much time paying attention to their phones then the actual people that are in the same room (house) with them.

    ReplyDelete
  135. Thank you for stopping by my personal blog, though I can't fathom how you would have stumbled across it.

    With regard to your post: absolutely I notice this. I work on a university campus and all the kids have their heads down, not paying attention to traffic, other pedestrians, etc.

    I have an old cell phone for the occasional call for a taxi, and of course for emergencies. No smart phone, no tablet. Though I do have my laptop and Kobo. :-)

    Best regards.

    ReplyDelete
  136. Oh, this makes me crazy…..and I'm constantly telling my family to PUT THE PHONE DOWN!!! Great post.

    ReplyDelete
  137. Yes...this is such a horrible thing!!!!! I actually have considered getting rid of my phone with the contract is up. It's just not worth it. I make sure to limit my use when I'm out with friends. I do use my for a camera 95% of the time, so it may appear I'm "on it", but I'm usually just capturing something I find inspiring. :)

    ReplyDelete
  138. I remember, back in the day when I had a basic cellphone (not a smartphone) that only made calls. No texts or nothing- and I remember thinking it was so rude of my friends to be texting whenever we were meeting up for lunch , dinner or happy hour. I used to tell them all time to put the phone down. Then a few years later, I found myself doing the exact same thing. I am guilty of this is as well, however now, I try to remember to keep my phone in my pocket, and only answer a call or text when I'm expecting an important call or if I need to step away. Very good blog posting. It reminds me of how I thought it was rude until I was able to do it myself.

    ReplyDelete
  139. First, thank you for commenting on my blog. So glad you love Fiat's. As I'm looking through your blog I saw this post. SO TRUE! I am afraid for our future. I am going to start keeping my phone in my purse when I'm in the presence of others. I think we all need to start the trend of keeping our phones put away and setting examples. Great post.

    Cindy Bee

    ReplyDelete
  140. I recently went to a wedding where the bride texted the entire time. Boy am I glad I didn't spend too much money on the gift! If she pays as much attention to her marriage as she did the ceremony the gift will be added to list that will be split between them. :/

    ReplyDelete