When you get on a subway in New York City, you see rows of people holding cellphones. At restaurants in Syracuse, where I live, I’ve often seen entire families with cellphones: father, mother and children paying no attention to each other.
The cellphone is widely considered one of the main villains of modern life. Actors on stage despise cellphone users. And parishioners are inveigled at the beginning of church services to turn off their cellphones.
But just as rude as the people using cellphones are the patrons who rush out of theatres at the end of performances without bothering to applaud the actors. And instead of worrying about cellphones, the clergy should better worry about people who gossip and socialize rather than spending their church time in medication or prayer.
The cellphone, after all, is a connection of sorts. It’s also a symptom of larger problems in contemporary life, such as our failure to live in the moment or to appreciate or be fully considerate to the people we are with.
Recently my wife and I were in Hawaii. We were pleased to see relatively few people using cellphones. Here, in the tropics, were people finally able to enjoy life in the present.