My wife and I had the pleasure of traveling to Nashville this weekend to spend time with a couple dear to our family. The trip was a quick one so the kids stayed at home. With no kids, you married people get this, we ate at some cool restaurants (those made famous on one of those "food show") and took our time talking, drinking coffee and walking around exploring a different city--a perfect weekend with the woman of my dreams.
Part of a great weekend for us includes a hotel with a hot tub and a cup of coffee while soaking (don't judge--simple pleasures). Other than a kid and her father (sitting at a table on the side) in the pool area, we were all alone in the hot tub. It was a perfect!
We were lost in our own relaxing conversation when the mother of the duo showed up pool side. We would not have noticed her had she not slammed her chair around on the stone floor--she did not look happy. What followed next caught our attention. There was little or no conversation taking place! No, "How are you?" or "What's wrong sweetheart?" Okay, to be fair, maybe that type of caring conversation took place earlier, but at poolside there was no talking. What my wife and I did notice was that the Mom (computer), Dad (iPad) and Daughter (Dad's iPhone) where sitting at a table in a great hotel (with a hot tub!) and they were staring at screens! No talking going on...at all...for about 20 minutes! Crazy!
Okay, I know some of you are thinking, "20 minutes, that's all?" I realize we live in a "connected" generation and that may not seem like a lot of time to you. However, all I could think about was the opportunity to "connect" this family was missing! I wanted to insert myself into their cyber worlds and say, "Just turn it off!" and talk to each other a little. That would have been kind of cool but probably not that well received. So I just left saddened by the scene of a non-talking, screen staring family by a pool.
Let me remind all of us screen users (I get and use screens...a lot), when an opportunity to connect with your spouse, kids, family or friends presents itself in "real time" just turn it off. You will be so glad you did.