We live in a technological age. Communication between us has never been so easy, so available and so well used but are we losing the art of communication?

Someone said to me recently that young people are losing the ability to talk and discuss issues. They communicate with each other endlessly but in short word or abbreviated text messages. Using letters as an abbreviated sentence would indicate that time is of the essence. If so, then a phone call would make more sense because verbal communication is much faster and what is more, the meaning is better understood because of the intonation within the voice.

How many times have you seen four young people at a table in a restaurant, none of them talking to each other but all of them tapping away texting on their mobile devices? Obviously the recipients of their messages were far more important than those with whom they were sitting around the table.

I saw a young couple come into the restaurant. They were shown to their table and they spoke not a word to each other. From the moment they sat down until their order was taken they were engrossed in more important business on their telephones. They stopped to place their order and immediately went back to texting.  I am not certain whether they chatted at all over that meal because their devices stayed right alongside their plates while eating.

Are we also losing the art of socializing? If we don’t talk to people how will we ever really know how they are? How will we know when things are bothering them? How can we build relationships? To ignore the person sitting next to you is no evidence of real friendship? It seems that people are moving away from friendships to acquaintances.

What about this as an act of discourtesy if not rudeness. A lady is on the telephone as she approaches a cash desk in the store. She places her clothing purchases on the counter ready to pay. She now holds her phone between her shoulder and head, rummages in her purse for a credit card, nods to the cashier when asked a question, puts her card through the machine, picks up the bag of clothes and walks away still talking to a friend on the telephone. She said nothing to the lady who served her. Is that rude, discourteous or disrespectful? Maybe all three.

I have seen a similar thing when people have pointed to the menu when the waitress is attempting to serve them. One has to wonder whether the communication on the telephone is  critical enough to disregard the human being who is offering his or her services. To act that way seems to say “You are not important enough for me to talk to you.”

Mobile devices are convenient but we should never allow them to stifle our communication with one another. That surely defeats the purpose of owning them. Remember this, you own them, they don’t own you! So look up occasionally, you might see someone across the table who actually wants to talk!!