Once, we were at a restaurant enjoying our lunch, when I started hearing sound that wasn't part of the restaurant's music. It sounded like a live TV show with laughing and clapping.
I looked over and saw a mother and daughter eating lunch together. Only, they weren't really eating lunch together.
The daughter had her earphones on and was watching a Korean drama on her iPhone while eating.
The mother did not have earphones, but that did not keep her from watching her Korean talk show while eating her lunch — with the volume up high enough that we could hear.
(Cell-phone etiquette tip #1: No one around you wants to listen to what you're listening to. That also goes with those who have laptops in public places, like coffee shops. If you forget your earphones, do the right and polite thing — just wait until you get home to watch that video or listen to that audio clip. Oh. Tip #1.5 — also, in a public area, don't put your conversation on speaker phone. No one else is interested in your conversation about what you need to pick up at the grocery store. I guara-darn-tee it.)
It was such an odd sight. Mother and daughter eating together, but neither engaging one another. Why even eat lunch together? Or watch the same show…?
But it's a common sight, right? People walking around with their faces buried in screens (oh. Cell-phone etiquette tip #2: Don't walk and text. Seriously. It's a bit dangerous. Just youtube “walking and texting” and you'll see how it can be hazardous. Improv Everywhere even made a video about this epidemic:
I mean, it seems like we give someone about 2 minutes (at best) to intrigue us, or back to our phones we go.
Technology is supposed to make our lives easier. But instead, many of us find ourselves prisoners to the screens that dominate our lives.
At the end of the day, who's controlling who?