During one of my usual breakfasts out at a local cafe, I sat next to a father, mother, and son. The child seemed about seven or eight. Dad was on his cellphone. Mom was busy on hers. The boy, stood next to his father, tapped the man on his arm. He wanted to say something.
The father impatiently pushed him away, saying: ‘Leave me alone.’
I see this kind of thing often. I don’t like it, but usually don’t intervene. It isn’t my business, but I was so sad and angry and bothered by this episode, I took the liberty as an old crone to butt in.
‘Sir,’ said I, ‘Your son needs to talk to you. They grow up quickly, before you turn around, he’ll be getting married. Please talk to him now.’
Much to my surprise, the parents didn’t tell me to shut up and mind my own business. Instead, the dad explained he was working.
I suggested he take a little time off work during breakfast and listen to the child. Then I went back to my coffee and book. The next time I looked up all three were on their cellphones.
What will happen to all these young children I see who sit quietly while parents are attached to technology?
I worry too about the damage being done to the vision of toddlers I see on the bus in strollers, being kept quiet and occupied with mom’s cell phone.
Parents are attached to those blankity-blank phones everywhere — walking, in restaurants, and one can safely assume, at home as well. They’re so addicted, they don’t realize what they’re doing.
Will children ever know the pleasure of conversation which I so enjoy? Who will talk to them? I worry. Or am I just being cranky?