Wednesday, September 28, 2011

pass the time

i found myself in a place with people who were entirely disengaged from the immediacy of their experiencing as each was lost in conversation on a cell-phone. their facial expressions, waving arms, and empty presence were disarming to me. because other than avoiding physical contact, they couldn't know
that anyone else existed around them.

this is now commonplace.

and i stood back
and wondered ....

where would you go
to find
honesty . truth . compassion . care. kindness . fairness . empathy .


deep inside
a building
a camera
the watched
the time
on their cell phones

it's all

the time


Titus said...

Interesting and pertinent, steven. I was at a funeral on Monday in a very plain Scottish church. Every pew was filled (and it's an unusually large village Church) and everyone had come together for similar reasons - to remember, to grieve, to say farewell. And there was a unity to the event created by the openess, honesty and empathy of those present. And by singing together. Yes, a sad day, but it is so often during these rites of passage that individuals unite in, well, spirit.
There are such pressures in life at the moment, and our technology can be isolating. If only we could all, genuinely, remember to look around a little more.

steven said...

titus thankyou for this beautiful comment. my mind filled with the words and most especially the pleasure that you amplified my wish in creating this post with such a real experience. steven

The Bug said...

I don't think I would have thought about it without reading Titus's comment, but that's one of the things I like about church - at least mine. Most people put away their gadgets to participate in the service. And, usually, we don't pick our gadgets up again until after coffee hour. It's nice to be with people who are truly present!

hope said...

I once discovered during a Staff Meeting I was the only one without a cell phone ringing...what an annoying distraction! When one of my co-workers asked if my phone was on vibrate, I smiled and replied, "No, it's in the car. It doesn't come to meetings, it's there if I need it."

Guess this explains why I don't text either. :)

Thank you for putting it more beautifully!

steven said...

hi bug! i don't attend church anymore but i can imagine that that might be one of the few places where the possibility of being present, while free of the digital availability that accompanies cells, emerges. i don't own (or rent) a cellphone. it bothers my children and my wife, all of whom own blackberry's and who wish that when i book it off into the wilds on my bike i'd be a little accessible in case i fall or get hit or whatever. i figure, it's unlikely i'll be in any shape to push buttons etc. if i'm pegged by someone so whatever - the mushrooms, the ants, and the little critters'll take care of the mess!!!! steven

steven said...

hi hope - i'm not an anti-cell person. i just haven't felt the pull for a cell, or a car, or a kindle, or 3d tv, or a lot of things. what happened? i love really good, useful, transformative technology. that's what i think happened. i'm a bit of a snob about stuff that lowers the common denominator. ooh. can't believe i wrote that!!! steven

Linda Sue said...

It is incredible shopping or just being out there- everyone removed - plugged in to their security of non stop talking with ones they are sure of...stranger danger? It is annoying, and surreal! i feel alien- I lost my cell phone long ago.

steven said...

linda sue - i'm really curious - no surprise there i guess - but i'm really curious what has suddenyl made people so interested in each other that they need the degree of detail and immediacy and especially the knowledge of the very trivial that they do. walking behind someone on a cell is the very best of cheesy drama! steven

alaine@éclectique said...

My son eventually got me on the house phone and said, "I rang your mobile but you must have had it switched off". I said, "It's always off; I only use it when I go out in the car alone".

At a dinner we attended last year sat a young man, about 17, with his iPad; he was bent over it all night, I don't think he stopped to have a bite to eat, let alone some human interaction!

Kay said...

i always thought of myself as a luddite but have mellowed....i have a phone mostly because i have folks who may need help quickly...but my greatest surprise was that my mum of 84 years has a kindle which she loves.. the print is bigger than a large print book and it is light for her to hold in bed....all things have a place for someone we just need to be careful in the way we use them..xx