Communication is key to any relationship. Couples must keep an open line of communication in order for their relationship to thrive. Parents and children must have good communication skills in order to understand one another. Communication is even vital for sibling and friend relationships. I have personally never had much of a problem communicating with my family members or anyone else for that matter. However, as I observe the upcoming generation around me, I find that communication skills are somewhat lacking...OK, pretty much nonexistent.
Robby and I headed off to New Orleans this past weekend for a little fun and relaxation during this busy holiday (and wedding planning...) season. Actually, Robby noticed that I was getting a bit strung out from all of the demands around here and he suggested that we just get away for a few days. Now, generally, I have to think about what I have going and "if" I can even get away; this time, I just packed my bags and jumped into the car with him. As we were rolling out of town for our three hour road trip, I instantly began to relax. I was looking forward to just a little "us time".
We talked all the way there and after checking into our hotel, set out to eat dinner. We were staying fairly close to the River Walk so we just chose to enjoy the mild evening temperatures while strolling over there. It was nice to not have anything to do but focus on one another. Hey!..."Empty Nesting" wasn't so bad; it was sort of like when we were young and dating. As we were waiting for our dinner to arrive and visiting with one another, however, my eyes began to wander around the room. I'm a "people watcher" and I like to see what all is going on around me while I'm out. One thing stuck out in my mind as my gaze quickly swept across the room; those darn cell phones are bound to be the ruin of many relationships!
Now, Robby is usually the one whose "pet peeve" is the cell phone. Well, actually let me change that to texting; he abhors texting! Up until recently, I have just sort of chose to overlook this cell phone business, but once it was brought to my attention (sort of like a tapping pencil against a desk long enough...), I simply could no longer ignore what I believe to be a very big problem. Now, just think about this...You are in New Orleans (or anywhere else for that matter...), with someone you love (or at least like...). The waiter is setting the stage for what could prove to be an intimate exchange between individuals and there is an "uninvited entity" at the table...You've got it; the CELLPHONE! As I watched, this "uninvited entity" made its way to the center of attention. The person who became enamoured with it (more so than the individual sitting before them...), simply could not take their eyes off of it for even a moment. The "real" person sitting across from them was left out of any potential conversation and sat there sipping their drink, while looking around the room. I watched on and off for quite a while, curious as to how long that inanimate object could possibly take over a dinner date and found that even when put down for a moment, it remained right there on the table, within reach of the person so attached to it. I must admit, at this point, I was beginning to feel a little sorry for the other person who sat there ignored by the intrusion of this piece of technology. Robby and I continued to enjoy our meal (and conversation...) when suddenly the couple with the "third wheel cell phone intruder" got ready to leave the restaurant and what I saw really seemed to bring it home and put the icing on the cake for me. They got up from the table to make their way to the door and the person was STILL glued to the screen of the device;;;so much so that they could not walk and perform their electronic task at the same time. This being the case, they suddenly STOPPED right by our table in the middle of the room (where busy waiters, busboys and patrons were swirling around them...). I desperately wanted to reach up and knock that phone out of the person's hand...I know, that sort of thing is only a good idea in one's head (or in a movie...). And so at this point, Robby also noticed what I had been observing all evening long. He questioned what type of person would just be so focused on a cell phone that they simply stood in the middle of a restaurant to fidget on it. I didn't answer that question; I knew it was rhetorical.
My husband has been up on his soap box for the past few years regarding these cell phones and how consumed some individuals in our society have become with them. Why, there have even been commercials made about entire families sitting around the dinner table texting instead of communicating. I knew it was "somewhat " of a problem, however, upon observing the number of people this past weekend who could not just enjoy the simplicity of being with someone and focusing solely on them, I decided there is to be a new rule around my house. I intend to make a sign that will be placed on the outside of my door: PLEASE CHECK YOUR CELL PHONES AT THE DOOR! I realize that this may offend some people, buy HEY! You are offending ME by not joining in the conversation around you. Put the phones away when you are around others. Sit and TALK to someone. Laugh...make a relationship...FIND that "Lost Art Of Communication" somewhere amidst the pile of technology out there. PEOPLE make relationships, THINGS do not.