It is PROM night tonight. I know 2 young ladies who are excited and so very pleased to be going through all the rituals known as “PROM.”
Both of these young ladies are totally addicted to their ability to text at any given moment: only under the most severe penalties will either of them be parted from their phone. The question is: Will they take their phones to PROM? The next question: How much will they text, take pictures, text, talk, text, text and text to other PROM participants?
Here’s the picture: a table full of juniors and seniors, dressed in off the shoulder, black, tux, four-inch heels, hair swept up and held with a glittering , deep necklines, barely there skirts–each one concentrating on his or her phone, thumbs flying at warp speed–to someone sitting across the table from them. Or across the room.
Can anyone spot someone actually dancing and texting at the same time? The imaginary picture I have is a young couple wrapped up in each other, barely moving their feet to the music, while each looks over the other’s shoulder to be able to use texting while they dance.
Has the use of social media precluded the ability to engage in face-to-face conversation? How does the use of texting increase or limit practicing for having to cope with the reality of conversation in moments of great emotion?
I thought of this PROM scenario after reading about social media on Patrice’s. She offers a wealth of information and questions as to how we all use our electronic devices to connect with each other–for good or not so good.
I do worry about our growing need to rely upon written media to provide instant filters between our feelings, thoughts and expressions. I never thought I would be concerned about “taking one’s time to think things through.” But I am, because we are limiting our ability to PRACTICE presenting ourselves as our true self–and then a time comes when we need to communicate verbally and we don’t have the ability to hit the delete button. What happens then?
It is with great fondness and hope that I wish for families to forego the use of electronics at meal time; to have conversations while in the car; to talk to each other while playing board games, shopping, and cleaning the house. Talk to each other about all the mundane things in your life–practicing for the times when things aren’t so mundane and boring.
Be gentle with your family and give your cell phone the night off.