Plugged In

I was in Panera waiting for a friend when I first noticed the trend. I am sure that people have been talking about it for a while. I’m sure that I’m behind in noticing. But I am also sure that I can’t be the only one who sees it. Most everyone there was alone, enjoying their muffins and coffee by the light of a computer or a hand-held device. Did you catch that? Everyone was alone. Everyone had a computer or phone and was completely “plugged in.” There were no interactions because people weren’t looking up, weren’t making eye contact, weren’t even aware that there were other people around them. I get it. Sometimes we have work to get done and don’t want to work at home. I go out with my laptop once a week, at least, to get things done without the demands of two small girls ringing in my ears. But I still like to watch people. I still like to look up and smile and connect with those around me.

I have been thinking about this for a few days and I decided that a short story was in order. It’s in the works, but it’s taking longer than I planned because I’m running into snags. For example, how severe of a situation will it take to snap my main character out of this self-induced technological coma? Pretty severe. And how can I make that situation believable? It’s tough, I tell you. But I’m working through it because I think it’s important to think about what incredible moments we might be missing while glued to a screen. What beauty is right there in front of us, unseen and unappreciated? If we could pause from our business for an hour , what treasures might we discover? When it all comes together, I think it’s going to make for a great story! I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, take time to look up and connect with the beauty of the people and places around you. It only takes a moment.

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4 thoughts on “Plugged In

  1. I am so with you on this. I find I pick and choose where I have my “social” coffee dates with friends because I’ve actually gotten nasty looks from the plugged in people when I am laughing and conversing with friends. Tis sad. But, I too, am guilty. There are times I sneak away to the coffee shop just to be “out of my own mess” and to get a few things done. Looking forward to your short story. Perhaps a tragedy needs to happen in the coffee shop of the plugged in that no one can ignore in order for them to be brought back to “life” !!

  2. Love the idea! Working in retail, I often see people out in a group together but all glued to their screens, hardly speaking to one another. The social demands of the internet have replaced social demands of actual people. We end up losing more than we gain through our technological “advances”. Ironic that we’re having this conversation through the internet though 🙂 I’m looking forward to reading your story!

  3. I completely agree. Have you ever seen Wall-e, well I’ve been babysitting so I have had to watch it for two days straight and their characters are in chairs with screens in front of them and have no interaction with one another. And it made me think about how the increase of disconnectedness paired with the power to say such harsh things through Facebook will affect the next generation. Anywho, I am with you on looking up – i love people and I can’t get enough. P.S. Can’t wait to read the story.

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