My boyfriend and I had an experience over the weekend, that I think is worth sharing. It left us shaking our heads a bit, and thinking heavily about some of the people involved.
In pursuit of lunch Sunday afternoon, we ended at a hibachi grill, and were placed at a table with a family of four, and a mother and her teenage daughter. The family of four consisted of a father, his teenage daughter, and a set of grandparents.
The food was really good, and though none of us at the table really interacted with each other, the chef was pleasant, the waitress attentive and very nice, and the atmosphere was enjoyable.
It wasn’t long into the meal, however, that my boyfriend and I noticed some really disheartening behaviors from our dinner mates.
The party of two, the mother and her daughter, sat on their phones the entire time, and barely made conversation with each other. There was a mistake in their order, but instead of addressing the restaurant about it, the mother complained and complained about the waitress.
Also, in the party of four (the grandparents, the teenage girl, and the father), the daughter and her father spent most of their time on their phones, or talking to each other, hardly addressing the grandparents. And when the time came to pay, the grandparents paid for the meal.
My boyfriend and I, and the grandparents, seemed to be the only ones to interact with the hibachi chef. And my boyfriend and I were actively engaged in conversation with each other the entire time, and were attentive to each other.
The contrast between us and our dinner mates was stark. It made the generational gaps obvious.
I make it a point, that when I’m out with my family, and/or with my boyfriend, and even his family, I make it a point to put my phone away and enjoy my time. I firmly believe that if I have set the time aside to be with someone, that time should be respected and not interrupted by a phone. I think it’s very sad that not many people feel that way.
A while ago, I wrote a post about my social media usage, and though I have since added Instagram (you can follow me at @fidelis.diem), I continue to monitor when I’m on my phone, and how often I use social media sites. I have even recently deleted the apps from my phone as a deliberate attempt to decrease the amount of time I spend scrolling through the newsfeeds.
Both my boyfriend and I aim to be more present, and it becomes difficult when generations around us don’t see the necessity. It’s unfortunate that this habit of being on phones at dinner, or with friends, as become an accepted, unquestioned norm. I think it needs to change.
It’s sad that my boyfriend and I, and the grandparents, were the only attentive ones at the table, the only ones not on our phones. I wonder where else this gap is observed.
What do you think? Do you think this is as big a deal as I observe it to be?
Ciao for now,