Humor Magazine

Me? No. Not Distracted.

By Pearl
Separating household goods, separating emotions, Pearl remains confused, a bit sad-ly, and tender to the touch.  Please enjoy another kind of distraction below, where the man on 9th and Nicollet wonders aloud for all of us...
The guy on 9th and Nicollet looks at me.
“The world is getting louder,” he says. “In all kinds of ways. “
I know what he means.  It’s not just the sirens.  Not just the dogs and the airplanes and the birds at dawn – for cryin’ out loud, what are those birds doing?! – but even our personal loudness.  The phones and the iPods and the devices we hadn’t ever thought we’d need, ever be surrounded with.
I was in the elevator the other morning with four other people.  This is not uncommon.  Uncharacteristically, I was not wearing headphones at the time.  But the other four were – and they were all checking their phones.  Heads down, fingers caressing the screens.  And this struck me.  I mean, six-thirty in the morning and there is already something we just have to know, have to check in with?  I’m not saying we should all be fully present, be speaking to each other!  It is, after all, six-thirty; but as a friend, should we be hunched over our phones already?  Hey! I’ve got 45 seconds before the elevator doors open.  I wonder if my freakishly angry political friend on Facebook posted another rude comment?
I can’t help but smile.  It’s six-thirty in the morning!  Really:  is this good for us? 
No one on the elevator notices.
Has the world always been this loud, so distracting – so petty?  A thousand years ago, did someone stand out on the prairie, look out over a herd of buffalo and feel a hole in his life left by the lack of something to pull from his pocket and play with? 
How were we so easily trained?
I worry about this, about the stolen silence. 
“The modern man is being led by the nose, man, to just shut up and be distracted," the guy on 9th says.
And I pretend to check my phone to discourage him from asking me for money.
But what if the guy has a point?
What would happen if we weren’t distracted?  

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog