I open the door to my usual morning coffee shop and enter to get my morning cup of Joe. I stand in line as it is during the morning rush and like me, many others are also in need of their dose of caffeine. Suddenly I look up and notice that I am the only one with my head and eyes straight up. Every single person who is standing in line has their head bent down and focusing 100% on a little device cradled between their two hands. I look over to the counter where others are waiting for their coffee and breakfast and I see more people with their heads bent all the way down, staring at their little devices, holding it so tightly and with care. They are holding it with such tenderness that I can feel the love between it and the person. They all look like they are taking care of very important business that cannot wait another hour or having a very deep or crucial conversation with someone, something that must and needs to be taken care of right there and then. As my curiosity heightens, I maneuver my body and head in certain ways to discreetly take a look to some of the screens. Of course, all the screens that I get a glimpse of are of facebook feeds, pictures, texts and games. This makes me sad.
What have we become? Robots? Anti-socials, hermits? Dysfunctional? Rude? Sad? The saddest part is that I am one of a very few people in the coffee shop who may have that mind set, the others are completely oblivious to this change in the human race. I am in the minority. It makes me sad.
I think about all the things these people are missing in their lives. It could be looking at another person and smiling, may it be a stranger, and getting that energy you get from a stranger’s smile, looking out the window and seeing the sun shining on the side walk and making last night’s rain sparkle, seeing a mother play with her baby which makes almost everyone smile, and so much more. It makes me sad.
But apparently these people prefer looking at pictures of someone who they went to high school with 20 years ago and have not seen since, or texting a friend who they never make time to talk to on the phone or in person, or read an article about last night’s football game, or just pass the time by playing a game of solitaire. They do not care to look up to see how the little boy eating his muffin is enjoying his breakfast so much with his daddy, or see how impeccably a business woman is dressed or, or, or… it makes me sad.
How long until we do not see each other anymore? How long until all we see are screens? Screens of conversation, screens of smiles, screens of messages, screens of friends, screens of coffee perhaps? It makes me sad.
It is sad to see strangers completely detached and isolated from other real people, but it is devastating to see friends, family and loved ones who are distracted by screens and prefer to look at a picture posted by someone they knew 15 years ago than to look at and talk to you. THAT makes me scared.