So there I sat chatting with a bevy of women I had never met while we sipped tea and nibbled on cookies like emaciated wannabe super-models. Then one piped up with a rant against abortion, and the other ladies clucked and nodded in approval. “Who does that?”, “What kind of person murders an unborn child?” floated about.
I kept darting from one face to the next, hopeful for any sign of Grace or Mercy, when I finally settled on a lady sitting across from me, her beautiful eyes rimmed with tears. Very quietly, as if whispering a secret to her chai, she answered, “You’d be surprised.” But everyone had moved on to important things by then, you know like the latest episode of Suits.
And then I ate the rest of my cookie, plus two more.
I was mortified and wanted to reach for my phone just to escape for a second. But I couldn’t – we were playing that game where everyone piles their phones face down on the table and the first one to grab it has to foot the next round. And the last thing I wanted was to buy these women tea.
I should of done something.
We toss around our words not realizing or taking stock of those left wounded by the shrapnel.
After my 3rd cookie I managed to pluck up the courage to connect with those beautiful brown eyes. Her name was Jess, she was lovely, she was real, she was refreshing.
Out of the corner of my eye I noticed that somewhere along the line the game seemed to have ended as everyone dove(literally) for their phones to Instagram our drinks and clutter news feeds with selfies.
We live in a world where wireless connection is taking precedence over human contact. I’ve come to realize that people’s worst fear, is being alone with their own thoughts and feelings. (and by people I mean me). Technology distracts us from ourselves. It keeps us from going inside.
Our smartphones have come to replace deep-felt, long conversations in view of non-urgent, shallow tasks; retweeting a ‘fun’ tweet, posting a duck face or to update your Facebook status for the 126th time.
Sure, We can have community through social media, but will it ever fulfill our true need for real connection?
To sustain a relationship it needs to be based on constant give and take, where we think about someone else at least as much as we think about ourselves. Smartphones upset this balance.
I’m a storyteller. With communication reduced to 140characters how does one tell a story? But until I die, I’m going to unleash my river of ideas and thoughts and just hope there is still an audience for it.
Above all I am thankful to Jess because everytime I want to launch into some highly opinionated unlovefilled speech, and every time I think that it couldn’t happen to me those words echo through every part of my being.
“You’d be surprised.”