Yesterday my husband and I went to lunch at a casual Mexican restaurant. There was a family of four sitting next to us — mom, dad, and two boys, around ten to twelve years old.
I sat next to the mom. She was looking at her phone. No big deal, I figured she needed to check a few things before she ate and chatted with her family.
Five minutes later, I was enjoying my burrito, chips, and guacamole, and laughing with my husband. I looked over. The dad and boys were quiet, concentrating on their food. Mom was eating and staring at her phone.
I couldn’t help but notice that the family was barely conversing. The boys talked a little. The dad ate and looked up once in awhile. Mom’s eyes never left her phone. I didn’t want to judge. Maybe she had an urgent work issue or an ill relative. I get it. That’s happened to me.
But she didn’t appear the least bit upset or bothered. I could easily see her phone from where I sat, and it looked like she was playing a game or checking social media. She was zoned out, lost in a fantasy world.
The family didn’t look like they were fighting. Just into their own thoughts — and phone.
By this time I was annoyed. So was my husband. I wanted to say, “Look at each other! Talk to each other! Why did you even bother going to lunch together? TALK to your kids, they’re sitting right there. Ask them questions, tell them something interesting or funny that happened to you. Laugh with them.”
A few minutes later, the dad got on his phone. Both parents sat with their heads down, sometimes smiling a little, probably at something on Facebook or Instagram. The boys looked uninterested and simply ate.
I got the feeling that was normal for them. Sad.
A man walked by, looked at the family, stared for a second, and shook his head in disgust. I felt the same way.
It had been about half an hour since we first sat down. My husband and I had cleaned our plates and were sipping our drinks. The parent’s faces were still buried in their phones. The boys sat there, detached and bored. I hadn’t heard the woman speak the entire time.
Eating out isn’t just to fill our bodies with nutrition. It’s an excellent opportunity to talk, laugh, and bond. Those parents wasted precious time with their kids.
Of course it wasn’t my place to tell them that. Even though I felt like grabbing their phones and yelling, “Pay attention!”
First image courtesy of here
Second image courtesy of here