In my family I’m the techno-geek, the one who loves all things electronic. To real honest-to-goodness techno-geeks this would be a laughable statement, but in my little world/family, I’m the go-to-girl for technology.

That is as long as my husband is around to be my technical support. I don’t really want to know how my electronic toys work, I just want them to work.

I offer this prelude so that you can have a point of reference for the rest of what I’m going to say. You see I think our society has gone a little wonky.

Maybe more than a little.

It’s a rare occurrence these days to see a person without a cell phone or ear buds for their MP3 dangling from their ears.

Parents pushing baby carriages – plugged in.

People walking dogs – plugged in.

Drivers – plugged in.

People riding bicycles – plugged in.

Parents at the park with their kids – plugged in

Patrons at coffee shops – plugged in.

You get the idea.

When did it become so important for us to be available to everyone else 24/7? Are we deluding ourselves into thinking this is communication?

It’s the reason I’ve never embraced call waiting. To me it rewards the idea of “last come first served.” Something I find insulting. Or at the very least, irritating.

“Oh, I’ve got another call. Can I put you on hold for a minute?’

“Um, sure.” (I’ll put my thoughts, need to talk, important statements on hold, no problem.)

Click while taking the other call. A few seconds later…

“I really need to talk to this person. Can I phone you back?”

“Um, sure, I guess so.” (Who am I to think I’m more important than this new caller?)

The last few times I’ve been to the pasture to see my horses, I’ve noticed quite a few people with their horses – you guessed it – plugged in to cell phones.

One girl was trying to get a halter on her horse as she continued to talk on the phone. I’m rather amazed she could even do such a thing.

Another was riding around the pasture, talking, talking, talking.

I think horses, and people deserve better.

I believe that we are losing the ability to focus. To actually give our attention to a person, a horse, our children.

We’re going to multi-task ourselves into a bottomless chasm that separates us from the people and animals we love.

There’s new research that suggests that our electronic obsession may be actually rewiring our brains. I’ll give those links and talk more about it in another post. But suffice to say, that’s a frightening thought.

The gift of being fully present with someone is a rare and very special gift. And what, I believe, we all crave. We yearn to be seen, heard, and valued.

And how the heck do you do that while you’re on the phone with someone else?

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