Plugged In and Disconnected

We watched a man in a neighborhood park. He stood with a cell phone in both hands, head down, reading. Then he popped his thumbs over the key pad. The dog at his feet laid in the grass with paws stretched out in front, a yellow tennis ball close by.

The dog looked up at his owner. “Woof.”

Thirty seconds, then a minute went by. My wife and I walked past. The man’s gaze never left the cell phone.

“Woof.”

We walked on another block and I looked back. The dog still lay at the man’s feet. The man still held the phone in both hands, his thumbs working the keypad.

“Woof.”

Even a dog knows we’re too plugged in and disconnected.

And on local hiking trails, I often see a couple walking together. But when one of them has the little white ear buds of an iPod in his ears, what kind of walk together is that? One of our family friends confided in us that she hates going for walks with her husband because he listens to music on his MP3 player while they hike or stroll. She feels alone and isolated even though they’re together.

Read more