Even though I've spent all day staring at a computer at work, I find myself parked on the couch with my laptop a few hours later on Facebook, scrolling through status updates, perusing pictures of people's weddings and learning that _____ has uncovered a "secret stash of Illegal Transaction Records in Mafia Wars"!
During this time, my husband (who has zero interest in "The Facebook") is trying to get me to pay attention to Guy Fieri eating an enormous, greasy burger on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. After a quick, distracted glance, I briefly wonder if he has high cholesterol from his job ... and then I hit refresh.
Why am I admitting this embarrassing use of my time? Because I guarantee that you do this, too. I have actually seen (in my Newsfeed, of course) couples communicate through Facebook when it appears that they're sitting right next to each other on the couch.
While tweeting, blogging, commenting, g-chatting, BBMing and surfing the web are a huge part of all of our lives, sometimes it's good to take a break and go back to basics. My grandma Rita gets by just fine using the TV Guide from the newspaper, sending letters in the mail (sealed with sparkly stickers of Betty Boop), using her cell phone for long distance calls only, and playing cards with friends in person (not through a virtual universe of anonymous mahjong players). It's time to take a page from her book. If not, we'll become so addicted to our computers, BlackBerrys and other people's lives online ... that we'll miss out on our own real ones.
I will not deny that a BlackBerry does come in handy at times. Awkward elevator moment? Fumble around in your purse looking for it. Waiting for someone at a bar and feel like a loser? Play Brickbreaker while pretending to be very busy and important.
So let's try this challenge. When you're out and about, pay attention to what's going on around you, not your phone. Listen to Oprah and stop texting when you drive. If you go to the gym, please don't put your cell in a holder on the treadmill. Spend time with your friends, your boyfriend, your girlfriend, fiance, wife, or husband. And really listen to them ... without the computer in your lap.
But still check my blog, of course :)