Sunday, March 1, 2015

Real Relationships Are Way Too Much Trouble


The Apple Watch Will Give Me One More Screen

It's 9:00 at my house and the TV is blaring. Just to my left, the laptop is open. Over on the right my new iPhone 6 plus is at the ready should anyone call or send a text. Soon my left arm will be adorned by a smart new watch, the first time I've worn one in decades.

Downstairs, there are real live humans. Some of them are also involved with screens. Don't dare try to interrupt the 4 year-old granddaughter who by my rules would already be in bed, anyway. She is enjoying Spongebob on TV and has the iPad open to a coloring app.

Adult children are actually engaging in conversation and laughing up a storm at something on various laptops open on the kitchen table. Funny YouTube videos or Instagrams?  Not sure, exactly. I'm thinking I might pause NCIS to go find out what they are laughing about.

I could have gone to any number of events this evening: Bible studies, small groups, charitable organizations, Garden clubs, author's meetings. But I deserve this downtime. I worked 10 or so hours today, mostly in front of various screens or on the phone. Going out seems like such work.

Did have a conversation with my housekeeper last week. I wondered why, at 60, she has never remarried. She says that after a long day of cleaning someone's home, she likes going home to total peace and quite, not having to concern herself with the needs or wants of a husband. She has her routine and is doing just fine. I didn't ask, but I'm guessing that routine involves screens.

In Japan, half of the population has checked out of even having sexual relationships. Too complicated and, yes, there are screens for that.

Sunday morning, too. Not for me...yet. But many of my post 60 friends are doing church on TV. They like the choirs and hymns. They like the convenience. I should ask some of them if it is just too much trouble to do the small talk for 10 minutes before and after. Sometimes it is for me. Sort of like the dance you do at a party where you only know a few folks. Not my favorite thing to do. And I'm considered a social butterfly.

Maybe this isn't a new phenomenon. Maybe I'm just getting old and crotchety. I remember people playing board games, card games, and just getting together with small groups of couples for fun. Am I in the wrong crowd, or has that just pretty much stopped happening.

I'm curious to hear your story.

Update. Just spoke with my adult son who tells me that a major thread on his Facebook is women in their 20's and 30's talking about how they don't need a man in their lives.


  1. Sometimes I say something to my husband and get no response. He doesn't even look up from his iPhone. So I text him. But he really is an attentive man and so he doesn't text back--he puts the phone down. For a while.

  2. I agree with your observations. Real relationships take time, energy, and the ability to sit in a roller coaster of emotions. It's easier to intentionally choose to watch something that we know will elicit a certain emotional response, rather than organically letting the emotions arise in the midst of the conversation.

  3. Time and the willingness to struggle through life together are two things people don't seem willing to give anymore. Strangely, they want tim for their families, which thy then spend on devices in the same room. Also strangely, people are more hungry for community than ever. Yet not interested in taking the risk. We are definitely feeling the results in the church.