These days it is impossible to go anywhere without being bombarded by technology. Cell phones, MP3 players, laptops, electronic billboards and digital book readers are everywhere you look. The technological innovations of the digital age are certainly advantageous when used correctly and in moderation, but has society become so dependent upon technology that we have lost our humanity?
It would seem so when attending a public event like a concert or movie. It’s as if people are so used to having media at their command 24/7, they no longer take time to relish the moment. When did it become acceptable behavior to talk during a movie or concert? More often than not, it has become impossible to enjoy live music without someone nearby talking or texting to the point of distraction throughout the performance. Live music is supposed to be listened to and not treated as mere background noise. It seems a majority of audience members think they are listening to the radio or a recording instead of seeing and hearing actual flesh-and-blood human beings performing their hearts out on stage. Considering the exorbitant cost of tickets nowadays, theatres and concert halls certainly are not appropriate places to conduct lengthy and meaningful conversations with friends. It keeps others from enjoying the show, and quite simply, it’s downright rude.
It seems in our quest to obtain the latest electronic gadget, we have become more isolated and detached than ever. Somewhere along the way, it’s as if e-mailing, text messaging, and surfing the Internet on handheld devices have provided an excuse to ignore good manners and appropriate behavior when in public. Gone are the days when someone holds a door open, or says thank you or excuse me. These simple acts of kindness and manners have now become impossible to perform while clutching a cell phone. It simply is not acceptable to ignore proper etiquette and civility when encountering others on a day-to-day basis.
So the next time you are out, take the time to notice others around you. Put down your cell phone and talk to the person you are actually having dinner with instead of texting someone who is elsewhere. Learn to be present and live in the moment, because that moment will never happen again. Be aware of your actions and how they may affect others in your immediate proximity. And please, remember to mind your manners.