Saturday, June 19, 2010

Walkin' and talkin'

"When I’m with my (boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse, significant other. . . ) s/he is often on the phone, talking with others. Do I have a right to feel hurt?"

Questions like this really are printed. And at least one response advised the writer to tell the phone-talker that it’s a hurtful thing to do and to pay attention to the here and now.

But what can dogs do when they’re walking with a person who’s on the phone? Wasn’t this supposed to be togetherness/bonding/quality time? Why can’t the person pay attention only to the dog for the duration of the walk?

Why not? Maybe because humans and their cell phones – and myriad other gadgets – are more and more hard to separate. Recent newspaper stories about studies being done have reported that families text while eating dinner (both at home and out), that interpersonal relations are suffering, not to mention the concentration abilities and quality of work of those bound to their gadgets.

Gadget-bound parents are said to be causing resentment and anxiety for their children, who at least sense they’re being short-changed in attention. (Now it’s not so much sibling rivalry as gadget rivalry for their parents’ undivided attention!)

What’s a dog to do? Jump up and knock the phone out of her/his person’s hand? That wouldn’t go over well.

What ever happened to man’s and woman’s best friend? It seems to have mutated – not “evolved”! – into a cell phone, or its equivalent.

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