Because I work from home (most days), I'm always easily accessible and I have my computer on all the time. I do have a cell phone, but the old fashion type, i.e. the flippy kind. No, I don't own any Blackberry or iPhone or any gizmo like that (I'd love to, but my IT department (read Hubby) isn't too keen on them). I have a phone that I only use as a phone, yes that also means I don't text. Crazy, huh? Somehow, I'm still easy to reach no matter what.
Last week I had lunch with a client and a new hire of his. While we were sitting at the restaurant table, within minutes of getting our menus, client took out his phone and started to check his messages. I couldn't help myself and asked him to be in the moment and to try to enjoy his lunch since he wasn't obviously enjoying the company. He apologized and put his phone away. The new hire was surprised. He was looking at me as if I had said something really outrageous, so I asked him why he was looking at me this way. His answer: "You know you're aging yourself by saying something like that, right?" Really? Wow! My answer: "Don't care, if it means that I have manners and know how to behave in public, then and I'm old and proud of it!"
It started an interesting conversation. I believe in living in the moment, and by this I mean to enjoy the life I have, the little things that (sometimes) do make life special, and worth living. I do believe if someone asked me to join them for lunch, it was because they wanted to have company, my company. They didn't mean to sit at a table alone, reading the paper or their phone, therefore, they should show me the courtesy of 'being' with me and not surfing their phone. Yes, it is old school but I find it so strange to see (many, many) people sitting at a table, in a restaurant, and both on their cells. Why bother coming together? There was a couple sitting at a table next to us, who were on their cells the whole meal, both of them, they barely spoke to each other, they ate and played with their phones. My client actually said that watching them made him think how little they communicated and how sad it was. New Hire actually said he had just realized he was actually addicted to his phone. He even confessed the last thing he does before falling asleep is to check his phone... how sad is that?
I think it lacks respect to people you're with when you're semi-listening or looking at because of that thing in your hands. You're physically with them, but mentally you're obviously somewhere else. And then we complain about how impersonal we've become... ah.