As I sat in the hair salon this morning with my three children waiting for my daughter's turn to get her hair done, I looked around at the sad array of disconnected people there. They were "connected" in the sense that they were all looking down at their little screens, apparently keeping up with friends, but disconnected in the sense that they were all totally oblivious to what was going on around them.
My children started out by sitting on the bench next to me and then gradually hopped down and began exploring the small sitting area as young children are apt to do. They seemed surprised that no one was paying any attention to them and I wondered why more people don't realize that a baby's face is a better window into the wonders of the Universe than the internet could ever be.
But the people just sat and stared at their screens. I felt a little awkward being the only one without a cell phone of any kind.
One girl had an earring through her nose that was really very disturbing to see and two young boys had just finished getting haircuts that seemed a bit racy for their tender years. I questioned why I had come here with my coupon instead of just taking my daughter to my regular salon that is full of old ladies, gossip and curlers.
Then I heard a bit of laughter. An old lady had struck up a conversation with a middle aged lady about whether the meat she had purchased that morning would spoil in her car outside. I couldn't help but sigh with relief. I felt like I was alive again and could breathe easily. We don't quite live in an impersonal zombie world after all.
Indeed, at times it does seem that we live in a world where the golden rule is, "Every man for himself!" How disconcerting is this if you are sick or a child that just can't take care of yourself and needs to rely on the kindness of others. Maybe it's time to "get outside the box" of our own little virtual worlds and experiment with those friendly virtues like compassion and sympathy.
The screens disturbed me. I admit that I am not out in public very much besides shopping, the library, the park, or Church. Suffice it to say, communication even at those places is getting more difficult. At the grocery store, people will go around you rather than ask to get something on the shelf or ask for help.
Screens are scary when you think about what comes out of the internet and television. How much evil filth is spilled into our living rooms or out of our iPhones each day and what effort do we make to shovel it out or do we just leave it there to fester until a bigger problem presents itself- a lot worse than spoiled meat in the car! The demons are taking over the screens to the point that our world is becoming a place full of constant, walking evil! In the store, in the waiting rooms, on the busses, in the Churches, people bring their screens and thus transport a virtual world of undisputedly demonic influence.
Suffice it to say that I just got rid of our television (we never had cable TV, just movies) and I do not carry a cell phone of any kind... I'm hoping this will help deter the insanity of the virtual world in our house. Screens creep me out and I do not think I am exaggerating in putting some value behind that feeling.
(By the way, what lately threw me over the edge on this subject was the book Return To Order in which the author elaborates on the dangers of impersonal, fast paced modern society or what he calls "frenetic intemperance". If you have not heard about it, you need to visit this website today: http://www.returntoorder.org/)
What do you think???