we drove into new york from pennsylvania and one of the first things we saw on this beautiful drive was this sign. “it can wait,” it declared. so true. what’s so important that can’t wait a few miles? traveling at just 60mph that would only be a mere 5 minutes away. i was infinitely proud of my homestate of NY and the effort to acknowledge and accommodate today’s technology while not superseding safety. distracted driving is against the law in many states, including NY and for good reason. we have all been privy to devastating stories, accidents that might have been avoided, moments when paying close attention should be paramount. providing a place to communicate is smart; these text stops were fairly frequent on the road and there were always cars and trucks parked there. but on the road, speeding down the highway? no technology present.
we are kind of at the back end of technology, david and me. the girl and the boy are smack dab in the middle of it. and the little children and young teens we see running around with ipads for entertainment or their own cellphones are clearly at the leading edge. we’ve watched while standing in line, even at the post office, as a mother hands a small toddler a phone to play with while waiting. i’m not sure where conversation or making up games or riddles on the fly went. i remember standing in a zillion lines in the post office with the girl and the boy (shipping has been key in my business) and they seemed perfectly content to wait or, ohmygosh, just talk. no technology present.
but it’s different now (saying this is a sure sign of us getting older) and everything is more immediate and more distracted. how many times have you seen a couple together in a restaurant with cellphones at the ready, lingering halfway between their tablemate and the pull of the internet or the text or instagram or twitter… the look on one of the faces an expression of defeat or, worse yet, an aloofness that comes with not being able to compete with the magnetic pull of that small device across from them. “it can wait,” i whisper silently, wishing the other person at the table could hear. what’s so important it can’t wait? what’s more important than those moments spent together, really together? paying close attention. no technology present.