Reach Out and Touch Someone?

Remember that slogan.   It implied that technology could bring us closer together.  That it would close the gap between far away families and friends.

Tonight, Will ran into the video store to pick up a movie.  The children and I waited in the car.  It’s much faster that way.  So we’re sitting there when the pickup two spaces down starts laying on the horn.  It’s occupied by a couple of down-home country boys and the object of their honking? is a twenty something woman inside the dollar store.  She looks out the window at them.  Clearly annoyed, she mouths some words their direction in that exaggerated way people do when they’re talking through glass.  Something about “over there” and “can’t”.  That’s all I caught.  Apparently our good ole boys caught even less because she shakes her head, heaves a sigh and whips out her cell phone.  Some part of me felt as if I were eavesdropping and should look away out of courtesy but I was fascinated by the unfolding drama.  Angrily her thumbs began to move with lightning speed.  There was a pause.  Clearly she did not like the return message.  The thumbs took off again.  There was another pause.  She looked up and out the window, giving a look which roughly translated means, “you are an idiot” and headed off toward the back of the store.

This scenario was wrong on so many levels I almost don’t know where to start.  Since when is it too difficult to take twenty steps to communicate.  “Reach out and touch someone?”  More like “withdrawal and text.”  Forget Math and Science, Grammar or History, if I can only teach one thing as a homeschooling parent let it be how to talk.  Let it be how to communicate ones own thoughts in an clear yet engaging way.  Let it be how to truly listen to the words of others.  Let it not be how to rely on technology to the point of ignorance.