The other night we watched a movie where a divorced father brought his children together for a family dinner. They talked for a while, some had their phone to an ear, others were keying on their phones. Some stared at their watches or out the window, obviously annoyed to be there.
None of them were connected to the ones they had resentfully agreed to attend the dinner. You could tell as soon as they could, they’d be out the door.
This photo shows how using your phone at times like this can harm families and the closeness they’re missing out on.
They’d taken time to have a family gathering, but none of them were connected. True the photo could show them after a long period of being together, but maybe not.
Back to the movie we watched. The one move toward progress the father made was to open a box and required everyone there to place their phone in the box. I salute the divorced father in the movie. He knew his children wouldn’t listen to a thing he had to say, or the other table discussion, if bells and whistles rang out during the meal.
Missing a phone call, tweet, or other media connection usually isn’t life threatening. I’m as guilty as anyone else at keeping my phone close by, but have tried to not let the phone interrupt special times with family and friends. Texting is a fabulous way to touch base quickly and easily too, but I love hearing my loved one’s voices.
I don’t think there is anything more discouraging, when we all have little time to spend with family and friends, than when ninety percent of them are on the phone. We gather to soak up memories of our loved ones, and that can’t happen when some are otherwise engaged. There’s a feeling of disturbing them from a game or other fixation they’re otherwise involved. So many wonderful memories are made around the family dinner table. I don’t want to miss a one.
That said, the media is a wonderful way to connect with loved ones and new friendships we’re lucky to have formed.
What are your thoughts on family and phone usage?
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