Nifty vs. Thrifty

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Using our Manners When Utilizing Technology

Everywhere you turn these days you hear people talking about the effects of technology on our society. Whether we're discussing our children on computers, GPS navigation, text messaging, or cell phones usage, people have changed the way that they live drastically in the last decade. Parents now have the very important job of monitoring and assessing this new wave of technology. There are many good things about what's available to us but perhaps we need to remember one important thing...respect. It's that simple, isn't it?

My family and I were recently on vacation and were seated at a restaurant at 8:30am for a nice breakfast. Another family came into the restaurant and the father took out his laptop while ordering his breakfast. He then started playing some music and sat the laptop on the floor so his family (and everyone else around them) could listen to the music. SERIOUSLY?!?!?! I couldn't believe it! Did he seriously think that everyone around his enjoyed the same music that he did?

Yesterday I was at a coffee house/sandwich shop when a family came in with a little girl that was about 1 and a half year old. The father opened up his Ipad and started playing a cartoon for the daughter to watch so he could chat with his wife. I realize that this is just a snapshot of a family and there's a chance that this is a very unusual practice for the family. However, it makes me wonder how many family use technology as a babysitter even when out in public? Do they not want to spend time with their child?

Many Moms and Dads today are distracted by their phone while their child is learning and growing right in front of them. Their children are pulling at their pant legs for assistance as they tell their child "Just a minute."

My question is, are we showing others respect these days or are we forgetting our manners? Is it respectful to always tell our children,"Just a minute." or do they deserve our attention more often? How would we feel if we needed help (perhaps at a convenience store) and the person who was supposed to be helping us was preoccupied all the time? I don't think we would appreciate it.

We act like all this technology is so complicated but maybe it's not. Maybe if we just use our manners and remember to be respectful to others, the answers will seem simple and the people around us will be happier?

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