Social interactions are fascinating. Thus, the idea that they are quickly disappearing disturbs me profoundly.
A few days ago I was having lunch with my family at the bar section of a Mexican restaurant (On the Border, if you really want to know). Surrounded by people, fajitas and cervezas, I noticed the presence of five television sets. No one, was looking at them. However, the place was awfully quiet for a packed bar. A family of four next to me was completely absorbed by iPhones (not sure which model). The three kids and their mom were blankly staring at each own’s device. It took them at least a minute to acknowledge that the waitress brought them the free nachos.
A group of four girlfriends walked in and started talking - one complaining to the manager about the location of my kids, facing the spirits - until two of them began chatting on their smartphone. The two girls without the phone kept looking at their friend's virtual chat, actually dividing the four-people group into a de facto two two-people groups. They kept being silent - chuckling once in a while - with the two furiously thumb-writing on their phones for at least fifteen minutes. A nice couple - two young loving birds? - kept glancing at each other’s eyes every minute or so while continuing playing a game on a smartphone.
During that lunch, kids were sitting at the table with their mind elsewhere. Parents were simply paying the check. I wonder if they are not interested in what lives their kids are living. Friendship was substituted by the idea that being friends simply means sitting at the same table.
In the past couple of years I noticed that this anti-social trend is getting more intrusive. Less sociality in favor of virtuality. Reflecting on what I saw I believe that I am the sad witness of moments that are gone forever.