|
|
|
The Times
  • Loretta LaRoche: Cellphones have a way of interrupting conversation

  • I am still in awe of how and when it became acceptable to ignore the people we’re with so that we can scroll and troll the tech highway for voicemail or texts.

    • email print
  • Yesterday my partner and I went to a nearby restaurant for a leisurely lunch. Directly across from us were two men waiting to be served. The waitress brought their food, but was clearly having difficulty trying to put it in front of one of her customers because he was totally consumed with his cellphone.
    He finally put it aside long enough to take a couple of bites of food. However, after a few minutes, he returned to what appeared to be an obsessive need to make sure he had not gotten any new messages.
    Now you might be thinking, “why am I not engaged in eating my own food and paying attention to my mate, instead of preoccupied with another diner with a cell phone addiction”? Well it’s still hard for me to understand how some people believe it is all right to ignore who you’re with in deference to being with someone who’s somewhere else.
    I am still in awe of how and when it became acceptable to ignore the people we’re with so that we can scroll and troll the tech highway for voicemail or texts. Perhaps he was an emergency room physician or a CIA operative waiting for news on a possible plot to take over the restaurant. But then there must be thousands of individuals with similar job descriptions because the behavior I witnessed is rampant.
    I felt badly for his companion who kept trying to engage in conversation but could not seem to get through his friend’s need to be connected to his smartphone, which in this case made him appear stupid. He finally gave up and focused on his food. I really think that eventually people will be making reservations at restaurants for themselves and their cellphones.
    Maybe they’ll be a small chair designed just for the phone so that it doesn’t get any food on it, or perhaps they’ll be booths that are soundproofed so that you can talk as loudly as you want and chew your food at the same time.
    There are so many possibilities!
    Who knows, perhaps we’re in the middle of the “Twilight Zone” and cellphones will reproduce themselves and kill us off. But then, who would be left to say “Can you hear me?”
    Now I’d miss that, wouldn’t you?
    Author, humorist, PBS star and Fortune 500 trainer Loretta LaRoche lives in Plymouth, Mass. To share your pet peeves, questions or comments, write to The Humor Potential, 50 Court St., Plymouth, MA 02360, send email to getalife@lorettalaroche.com, visit the website at www.stressed.com or call 800-998-2324.
      • calendar