Once in a great while, a friend and fellow writer on Blogger will create an original post with such a compelling message, it begs to be shared. In this regard, Sandy Carlson's blog post of August 19th, "Our World Tuesday: Not Mayberry" is worthy of your time. Click HERE for a look. It's really quite amazing.
Few can make the argument that our culture is one of simplicity and clarity, when it comes to how effectively we communicate. On several occasions, I have written about the price that we pay as a society from being obsessed with our cell phones, Facebook, Twitter, Pininterest and a variety of "social media" applications--all designed to enhance communication. All too often, however, these well intended devices and applications have the undesirable effect of inhibiting communication. Here's a true story.
-Last week, I encountered a couple in Scottsdale, Arizona seated next to me in a nice restaurant during dinner. The setting was romantic, with candles lit at every table. I was waiting for my date to return from "powdering her nose"--to coin a phrase. It was obvious to me that the couple seated next to us had been married for many years. Suddenly, the husband pulled out his iPhone and began checking his email. I happened to look up at this exact moment to witness the facial expression of his wife, who was clearly livid. In a subdued but intense tone of anger, she asked her husband to look up at her as she spoke. The husband dutifully looked up to receive a wake-up call. "We may be married", she told him. "But as far as I'm concerned, we are on a date. And if you don't turn off that cell phone and put it away right this minute, I'm going to get up and walk over to the host stand and summon a taxi cab to take me home". I was ready to crawl under my table! Fortunately, I didn't have to. The husband quickly got religion, turned off his iPhone and placed it in his pocket. 'This is a very smart man', I thought to myself.
As my date returned to our table, the couple looked up and said hello. We all shook hands as we introduced ourselves, and exchanged some small talk about about the restaurant crowd. I motioned over to the bar area, and mentioned that it is always strange for me to see so many single people seated next to one another, completely absorbed in the zombie-like practice of "texting". It could have very well been a scene straight out of the 1975 movie, "The Stepford Wives".
We all turned to look at about a dozen people engaged in electronic communication, to the exclusion of the person seated next to them! Now, if this sounds like an example of our culture having "driven off a cliff", I encourage you to read Sandy's blog post. It's a refreshing alternative to this example of unintentional complacency that has gripped so many good people. This is merely a basic observation. See if you agree.
By the way, it was nice to finally get caught up with each of you on my Blog Roll. I've added a few new bloggers to my page who are excellent writers and photographers, each with a desire to foster communication in the spirit of fun and goodwill. On that note, I'll see you back here shortly!
Singer/Songwriter Richie Havens at Woodstock Music Festival, August 1969
"I really sing songs that move me. I'm not in show business. I'm in the communications business. That's what it's about for me." – Richie Havens (1941-2013).