Missing Out on the Human Experience

Watching my son, who is an extremely social child, interact with other people has made me realize just how little attention the general population pays to their surroundings. What do I mean by that? It’s completely normal for us to walk into a coffee shop and see everyone but the employees staring down at an electronic device. My son waves, and he says hi. He smiles wide. His whole world lights up when someone makes eye contact. We’ll have our coffee and be gone before anyone makes eye contact with him a single time. If they do, they’ll immediately look away back to their phone, laptop, tablet, what have you.

To me, the human experience is our ability to interact and communicate with other human beings in a way that most other creatures are unable. My son is a good example of the instinctual need some people, I admit not all, have to reach out and communicate with their community. Out of the twenty or more people in that coffee shop, I cannot possibly believe there wasn’t someone with a similar need at one of those tables. However, instead of looking up and interacting with those around them, they were fulfilling that need on the internet. My son doesn’t have the internet to fill that need for him, so he stares and meekly attempts to wave at all the people in the shop. I’m always impressed that he keeps trying until he’s attempted to interact with every last person. He’s much more persistent than I am.

The internet is a wonderful place to connect with others. I do wonder though, has it ruined some parts of the human experience? Would all of these dating sites be necessary if we interacted with the people around us? I have no expectation that everyone wants to talk to my kid. He doesn’t exactly hold an engaging conversation yet. There are, however, ten or more other people in that shop also looking at their electronic devices. Surely that’s at least one missed opportunity to connect with someone you would enjoy talking with.

6 responses

  1. It is amazing in this day and age that people prefer electronics over human contact. Video games are an addiction that pushes people away in marriages as well. I am like your son ~ cheers to connecting with other humans!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t think the problem is the electronic devices… Is how they are being used (or abused) I truly feel that about 75% of the people are hiding from real life, and trying to fill voids. 😦 And the other 25% are on it to share adorable pictures of the kids with grandparents, lol. That being said- if a little toddler goes into a coffee shop, smiles and waves… They is adorable and it needs to be returned! My kids do the same thing, and it hurts me to see the disappointed looks on their faces when their happiness doesn’t spread to strangers. Ugh. Some people are just ignorant. 😦
    If our kids ever just happened to be in the same place and your son waved to my son, David would run up to him and say “HI FRIEND!” while I smile and turn into a puddle of mush. 😂💜

    Liked by 1 person

    • I feel sorry for the ones trying to hide from their lives. Making another online is never quite going to fill the void.
      I think the disappointment on my son’s face is what really gets me the most. He’s trying so hard, and he doesn’t understand why all of these people are so interested in the screens. I would love to run into a family as outgoing as Harry and me! That would be quite a treat! Your son David sounds absolutely adorable.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It reminds me of when I went to a restaurant with a friend. The couple next to us at the other table where on their devices for the whole duration of their meal. I don’t usually pay attention to other people’s dining habits but this fascinated me. Although I don’t ever think humans will lose the desire to interact, I do see engaging, device free, conversation becoming more of an art form that some will master, but some will struggle with

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree. In fact, lately the main complaint I’ve heard from my female friends about their husbands is not the normal stuff. It’s that their husband won’t put down their cell phone at dinner, and they’re buried in it most of the day making it impossible to talk to them. It’s not unique to men, I just talk to mostly women. It’s really hurting their marriages, and you can’t work through problems if you don’t talk about them.

      I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if portable electronic device addiction becomes a thing.

      Liked by 1 person

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