It never ceases to amaze me how we seem compelled to check our cell phones constantly. We rarely are truly unplugged and have become addicted to a constant buzz of information that often distracts us to a point that we are oblivious to our surroundings.
I love to bike to work and always worry about the traffic, drunk or texting drivers, and, lately, Pokémon Go players. I wonder if drivers realize that when they are checking their phones while driving they are playing some sort of Russian Roulette. It is no secret that texting and talking while driving, or checking social media while behind the wheel, has started to cost lives. The only biker I caught checking in with his mobile device at least did it while stationary—but in the middle of the pedestrian walkway!
When did constant access to mobile communication become necessary or even desirable? The stress of multitasking, working on weekends, evenings, and on lunch breaks, is, of course, furthering all this.
I am by no means perfect. I rarely leave my home without my cell phone and am guilty of taking pictures, checking my mail, scrolling Facebook and other social media far more often than I would like. I have even managed to overheat the device! Yet, it would never occur to me to do so while driving. I am bewildered at how many people put their phones on a restaurant table. Even couples, obviously on a date, are on their phones instead of talking to each other. Why would I ignore someone’s company so that I can check in with other people who may not even be real-life friends? It just seems wrong.
The usage of mobile devices is a real nuisance at concerts and movie theaters. Can we no longer watch a movie without checking our mail? Why are you watching a concert through the screen of a tablet—and at the same time obstructing my view? The theme parks are no exception. Guests are spending a disproportionate amount of time on their mobile devices.
To be present and in the moment is so important. I recently discussed cell phone wedding etiquette with my son and future daughter-in-law. They decided that during the ceremony only an official photographer will be allowed to take pictures, and that we will, like at the movies, ask guests to turn off their mobile devices. Here is to hoping that nobody will try to catch a Pokémon at the wedding.