Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Discrete Streams

I saw a couple when I was at lunch today.

He was eating his food. She was sitting beside him, on her cellphone, surfing the Interwebs or whatever. I've seen this so often lately, and it's become a concern.

What I am concerned about is people being together but being apart.

I don't mean for loners like myself. I have always been together but apart in many ways. It's very fundamental inside me. I only rarely feel connected.

Out there, though, are huge swaths of people who have always been connected. Cellphones and the mobility of data have increased their remote connections to people, but their intimate,  in-the-moment connections have been transformed into something far less rewarding.

I've noticed this very much with parents in the last six months, as part of my daily breakfast trip to P. Terry's. Parents are with their children, or at least in physical proximity, but they're not paying attention to them at all. Instead, they're fiddling on their cellphones for long stretches of time.

I don't understand how you bond with another person if you're not engaged with them when you're together.

I never thought that anything would fundamentally change how people communicate with each other, but this seems to be a collateral aspect of cellphones making so much of the outside world available at any moment.

I'm not sure where this ends up, but I know it will be somewhere else.

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