how relational we truly are
as human beings,
basic currency of
I was recently in a small neighborhood restaurant in Naples, Italy.
I watched a large family claim a table that waiters had scurried to set up. At one end sat the elderly parterfamilias with his four sons and their wives, at the other, nine children.
I settled in to watch the rich circus of Latin family life.
And indeed, there was much laughing hugging arguing and remonstrating--
but only at the adult end of the table.
The other end was totally silent.
Eight of the children sat engrossed by the small electronic screens they held a few inches from their noses. Not for one moment did they ever speak or look at each other or at the adults, and they completely ignored the only child without an electronic device. Eventually this boy began to bellow in protest and was comforted by his mother, who turned his chair to face the adult group.
In spite of the warm Mediterranean night, I was chilled.
Pamela Eyring, Director of the Protocal School of Washington, which teaches social manners to corporate and government clients has identified four stages:
confusion, discomfort, irritation, and, finally outrage --
of what she terms as "Blackberry Abandonment."
This is the feeling a person suffers when trying to connect with a devotee of the electronic gadget.
She adds that since personal and business relationship rely on making others feel valued, devices such as the iphone put these relationships at risk. She calls an obsession with iPhones "cell-fishness." This is about more than an issue of etiquette or a lack of consideration for others.
A survey by the consumer electronics review site Retevo.com found that 10 percent of the people under the age of twenty-five do not see anything wrong with texting during sex!
Some say that all our electronic gadgetry is keeping us more connected. But while sharing information on a screen has its uses, it is a shallow connection, not the deep emotional engagement needed for any kind of meaningful relationship.
Texting and emails are set up for volume, velocity and multitasking-- that is, the splitting of attention.
They create an illusion of connection.
The danger is that they also set up a new way of relating in which we are continually in touch but emotionally detached.
Is technology "defining relationships down?"
From the book Love Sense ~ Dr. Sue Johnson