Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Old Fashioned or Just Plain Rude

I'm of an age that I remember when personal computers became available for the regular masses.  I probably could have lived without a personal computer because I like to do "old fashioned" activities such as walking for exercise and enjoyment, gardening, playing instruments and singing, visiting with friends over tea or coffee and having daily eye-to-eye contact with my family and friends.

When we bought our first home computer, my husband was very excited and eager to learn to use it both for work and leisure.  I also learned to use it for both work and leisure.  Not long after having our new computer, I noticed that my husband and I were spending less time together when we were both at home.  Due to our work schedules, we often had less than 2 or 3 hours a day together.  I started to blame the computer and felt resentment towards this piece of metal that had come into our home.  You see, my husband (and I too, I must admit) was choosing to spend time on the computer "playing" and less time "visiting" with me when we were both home.  Combined with the fact that when my husband was home but not on the computer, in all honesty, I was also spending time on the new computer instead of having eye-to-eye communication with my husband.  Needless to say, we were a young couple and still learning how to live with each other and compromise as husband and wife.  I noticed that we were drifting apart as we spent less time talking with each other and more time "playing" on the computer.  We eventually worked our way through this distraction and decided to make time for each other.

As our family grew with the addition of children, we used the computer as a teaching tool.  Now our children are teenagers and I see the same lack of eye-to-eye contact in our family unit as what plagued my husband and I when we were younger.  Now there is not just the personal computer but there are cell phones, IPhones, IPods, Tablets, laptops, etc.  The rule in our household is that there are to be no electronic devices at the table while we eat.  Then we can be forced to have eye-to-eye communication.  Yeah, right! (sigh).  Everyone can't get finished their meals fast enough to escape from the table and go back to the electronic devices!

I seem to be very attuned and sensitive to the rudeness of people using their IPhones and cell phones for texting while with other people.  It bothers me to no end when my son is so busy texting that he doesn't hear us speak to him in the car when we are on a family trip.  The same goes for my daughter when she's got her IPod on with the ear buds in her ears.  I have a cell phone and it is a basic pay as you go for emergency use only.  I feel totally ignored and undervalued when I'm on the patio with my husband on a warm day or evening and the electronic device comes out because he just has to update his facebook.  I think this is very rude and when I mention it to him, he is very willing to put it away.  I just think it is common courtesy to keep the electronic devices closed down while you spend time with family and friends.  Is it really necessary to update your facebook page every minute of the day for your electronic friends at the expense of ignoring (even momentarily) the flesh and blood friend or family right beside you?!  Do I really have to remind you that I'm there beside you?!  I have been known to just leave the patio and my presence isn't even missed.

The other day my husband, my daughter and I walked up to the mall to do some shopping.  We used to enjoy each others' company when we went on "family" walks and I guess I miss those walks.  As an aside, I feel nostalgia for the days when my children were young and we'd go for family walks with the kids riding their bicycles.  Anyway, on the way to the mall, my daughter had her IPod in her pocket along with one ear bud in her ear.  When I spoke to her, she seemed to not hear me so I mentioned that it was rude to have the ear buds in her ears when she's with people.  Her response to me was, "There's only one ear bud in my ear.  I can hear you through my other ear."  So does this mean she was ignoring me deliberately?!  I still don't know and I still think it is very rude.  I have been in other situations with friends when we've been visiting and the electronic devices are out and you hear tap, tap, tap while they update Facebook, Twitter, etc with pictures, information or whatever.  I strongly feel it is rude.  As I mentioned before in regards to my husband, I think that anyone who texts, uploads pictures, follows other people's Facebook pages, Twitter "tweets", etc while they are with me are not only being extremely rude but they are sending me a personal non-verbal message that I am not worthy of their time or full attention!

My children call me old fashioned.  I've been told I need to "get with the times".  Perhaps I'm too sensitive.  Whatever the reason, I think that life is too short to ignore people while you are with them face to face.  Does it really hurt to put away the electronic devices for an hour or two while you are with me?  It's the end of my rant but maybe it's something we should ponder as we go through our day.

No comments:

Post a Comment