An uncomfortable visit.

three people using smartphones
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Not so long ago we would let the phone ring and not answer; if visitors were here. The box never was switched on if someone arrived. We invited people for their company to converse, listen and enjoy having them. How things have changed.

An invitation was issued and we duly arrived flowers and wine in tow. Five minutes in and the television came on. Football “Can’t-miss this ” our host said. We are not really followers of sport which didn’t help.

I wandered in the kitchen to assist … or just watch and chat. There was my friend checking Pinterest for cooking instructions. We sipped wine and laughed and swapped boards on the site.  On a shelf, less than two feet from her were Gorden Ramsay, Jamie Oliver and a cornucopia of titles on beautifully displayed books all being neglected or maybe just ignored. Once the food was displayed on plates and she had set a scene on the now rose petalled worktop she spent several minutes clicking her now repositioned plates. “Insta, capturing the essence of my dinner party,” she said. Little care was afforded to the food getting cold it was all about the appearance of perfection. I realised like a flash of recognition, that Instagram was about the best of you. People only posted the perfect their posts are shot purposely to reveal none of the struggle or flaws.

I, as many of us do, have a smartphone a tablet, laptop/ idea pad. I have also been guilty of secretly tweeting when I should be having a conversation. Facebook has also revealed some secrets; best kept. I have found family things and photos that I never wanted to be seen; staring me in the face. The intrusion of privacy, is it yours to keep private? I am not sure about some of the posts that arrive … unasked for/unsolicited. Some of the embarrassing revelations posted after arguments or alcohol-fuelled evenings. I wonder, wincing at the thought of the regrets people have. The morning after realisations must be painful. Once posted it is there for good.

For now, I just dip in and out of Facebook, keeping up with family abroad and to post my blog link on a writing group or to enter the odd competition. I enjoy the voyeurism of strolling through facebook. I like being nosey and laughing out loud at really silly stuff. I will admit to cringing at another batch of cat and baby pictures. But I ask you … “is it all getting too much?”

Back to the visit. My husband said (after we returned home) “At one point three people were Facebooking, tweeting and watching Television, I wondered why I had been invited” I felt miserable for him because I had been just as guilty.

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So in light of this, I would love to hear what you think. Is it time to cut back? do you think like I do; that there is a time and a place and maybe we need to be reminded of etiquette? A time when we know it is inappropriate; or am I being grumpy and old?

Answers in the comments, please. I will reply quick smart. 

 

 

2 thoughts on “An uncomfortable visit.

  1. I am the digital marketing and social media manager of the company I work for. My phone is on silent for that reason. I am seldom on my own social media. I think if I were invited to someone’s home I would be annoyed if they were more interested in the TV or their cell phones. Unless the point of the visit was to watch a sports game.

    However, if I am bored with the company I am with – and I am not the person who organized it – I have no problem wondering off or just playing hangman or scrabble or whatever on my phone. I think its rude if you are the ‘host’. I think its rude if someone is trying to engage with you and you make it hard for them.

    But I dont think that ‘etiquette’ exists anymore. Technology is a part of how we go about our days. It would feel unnatural for most to put that on pause just because other people who use that same technology are around. I have had dinner with my family and we have all been on our phones. That may be screwed up but none of us were offended. But then again, we arent big talkers..

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