Remember the good old days when people sat at a table together and had face to face conversations during a meal? I do. I call it “good old days”, but to those who don’t know otherwise, I guess they don’t see the difference.
Tonight, we had the opportunity to have dinner with another couple and their children. It was chaotic. There was noise. There was chatter. there were multiple children vying for attention at different times.
Know what else there was at this dinner? Jokes. Laughter. Conversation. Games. Two families enjoying an evening together in the traditional sense. Something you don’t see a great deal of nowadays.
I think that the dynamic we’ve developed as a people is such that it has become easier for us to communicate through our devices. Text messages and various forms of social media have become the new norm. When most groups sit at a table together, at least a number of them will have their faces buried in their smart phones. The newest generation haven’t even had the benefit of knowing any different. We see the same thing when we sit on the bus or at restaurants, even when it’s two or more people together.
Don’t get me wrong, I have a smart phone. I use it a lot. I mean, a LOT. And sometimes, it has been to the detriment of my family. Doing things like playing games, browsing social media and watching television have proven to be a bad example to my son especially, who thinks it’s perfectly normal to sit in front of the television during a meal as opposed to sitting together at the dining table.
As wonderful as the advancement of technology has been, and no matter how much easier it has made life, I think it’s important that we pass on those particular traditions to our children. In a busy world where technology reins, it’s important to keep a foot firmly grounded on our humanity. We shouldn’t forget that the spoken word and face to face contact should never be taken for granted.
So, take the time to enjoy those few valuable moments with your loved ones. Have a conversation. Ask how their proverbial day went and what they did. In the long run, it will be better for you than tweeting what your last meal was.