Two children mesmerized by smartphones

Alone While Together: The Slow Drift of Apathy

Alone While Together: The Slow Drift of Apathy

by Bill High

He lost his family.

No, they didn’t die. There was no airplane crash, divorce, affair, or breakdown. But it was as serious. It was the slow drift of apathy.

My wife and I were out for dinner, and they were across the way from our table. On the surface, they looked like a perfect family: dad, mom and two kids, a boy and a girl. He was dressed sharply, his wife even better—fit and trim. And the kids looked picture perfect. They could have been teen and preteen models.

But there was a problem. They hardly said a word. Both kids had earbuds in. The son was watching a movie. The daughter was listening to music. Even the wife was scrolling through Facebook. Even when the meal was served, they ate with a careful eye on their phones. Finally, even the dad gave in and took a phone call.

The phone reverie was interrupted only by a picture of the parents, which the son took with great reluctance.

I know it was only one dinner, one evening, but I couldn’t help but think he’d lost his family. The content on their phones was far more important than the content of their conversations.

Perhaps the first step towards successful family legacy is learning to talk again—without our phones.



Photo by McKaela Taylor on Unsplash

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Published July 30, 2021

Topics: Family Legacy

ChildrenFamilyFamily CommunicationParenting

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