Look at me. Please, L O O K A T M E!!!
Don’t divide your attention with someone who’s not even in the same room as us. We’re communing, you and I, exchanging ideas or simply “hanging out” with each other, coming together because we have so many things in common. Don’t let someone else interrupt what we’re doing together.
And it is an interruption. Everytime you focus away from me and toward that device in your pocket or hanging from your belt, you’re choosing to give someone else the time I believed we were giving each other. It’s not like the other person has such critical earth-shattering information that some catastrophic harm will befall mankind if you don’t attend to the message immediately. Rarely is any message so urgent that it can’t be dealt with later in private, away from me or the person you’re “with” in a given moment.
I feel “dissed,” — disrespected. I give you the respect I expect you to give me in return. I try to make eye-contact and converse with you about topics we mutually find important, entertaining, informative or all the above. I turn off the TV when we meet in my living room. I pause, save and put away the video game when we talk, unless we had agreed to play together. I stop any chore or task I’m engaged in so that I can give “my all” to you when we come together. It’s not just the courteous thing to do, but the most compassionate I can offer to show how much being face-to-face means to me.
So, S T O P T E X T — M E S S A G I N G!!!
P L E A S E!!!
Don’t turn your eyes away from me and towards that tiny screen on your cell phone, iPad or other communications device. You got a human communications device right in front of you — one that doesn’t mind sharing you with the rest of the world but not every minute you receive one buzz after another demanding you stop what you are doing and give your attention to some uninvited urgent messenger.
It’s not as if you’re awaiting word on someone going into labor or a call-back on a job interview. Heck, I’d gladly share you with another under those circumstances. You would too, particularly, if I told you ahead of time that I was awaiting such a call. It would be something I know we’d talk about, commiserate with, and develop stronger bonds in the sharing.
But you insult and belittle me when the insignificant prods you away from me. At least, that’s how I feel when we’re talking and I look and see you reading someone else’s words when the whole time we came together were to share our words. Why do you think they are more important than me? How many times can someone– can I — take this slight before telling you how much it bothers me? How much it irritates me . . . How much it pains me.
Maybe you’ll get the message if I send it by text to you with no forwarding address.