We're all so used to it nowadays aren't we? You go somewhere with the family and the kids are sitting there looking into their mobile phones. It can be out for a meal. Or it can be abroad on holiday. Your child gets a text in the middle of your Xmas meal and hey ho the phone is picked up.
And it's not just the kids. It can be work colleagues, sitting at tea-break, scrolling through the mobiles, acting as if the person opposite them is a complete stranger, as familiar as someone they might sit next to on a train or bus.
All of this you might think is no big deal. Well, I think it is.
In fact I think it is a very unhealthy habit, not just for the person themselves but for the whole of society.
Could you imagine going to visit someone and the person you visit pulls a newspaper in front of their face and ignores you. You wouldn't stick around, would you?
Could you imagine having a family meal, and one of your children says, "Do you mind if I bring a couple of friends in to the room whilst we have our tea?"
Both completely unacceptable.
Yet when you go on holiday with the kids, if they are glued to their mobiles, they are not experiencing and sharing that unique, once-in-a-lifetime event, the way they ought to, such that it will live in their memories forever. Rather they are communicating with friends back home, which means they are not totally engrossed in what you are doing together, and effectively means their minds are elsewhere and not with you on holiday. The result - no special memories.
I always thought holidays were a very special once-a-year event where you left the humdrum of normality behind and allowed yourself to become immersed in a "get-away from -it all" paradise. Yet when you pick up that mobile, you are back home, reminding yourself of everything you are on holiday to escape. Madness.
It's tragic because holidays, Xmas dinners, whatever the event, cannot be committed to memory and enjoyed fully if you are not concentrating on it!
It's the same whenever people go to see an event and something of interest happens. Out comes the mobile and everyone is trying to film the happening as if somehow it will be sweeter watching it afterwards. It never is. And they don't even get the full experience first time around because they are watching a shrunken version of reality on their mobile screen as they try to film it.
So come on folks, put the mobiles out of sight when you are having a special event and get engrossed in the moment.
Did my phone just ring? Let it.