June 21st, 2012
What happened to the 70′s, 80′s and 90′s. I mean what do they even call this? The Ten’s, the Twelve’s or do they just say Twenty’s for Twenty Twelve? We just aren’t chill anymore. The cool is lost but I’m not even sure anyone noticed and if they did I don’t think anyone really cares.
Enter. My daughters world. (She worked really hard this past year to graduate high school top of her class with an associates degree.)
Now it is mid summer….Act One.
The giggles seep down the staircase, excitement is in the air once again. After the stirring of graduation and all that lead up to that momentus night, summer dust has stagnated a bit. Boredom has reared its lonely head more than once on the road that leads to college. And although today does not carry the excitement of arriving at a new college, it does skip into a party of a friend that has got the means and know-how to make a party special. There will be dinner, a limo, a drive to a huka bar and more.
The girls are in my daughters room gathering their goodies up for what could be their last slumber party with the awesome four. One friend is staying here to attend a local college, another going to a community college in Gainesville hoping to work her way up to the big UF, another going to a college in Miami and my daughter; traveling many states away to Ohio State.
Today is for them. With bags full of bathing suits, makeup, hot dresses and heels, they walk through the slider doors with summer shorts below and halter tops and tanks above. The chatter and giggles in full orchestra, one competing over the other.
All week they have been looking forward to someones party, that for privacy sake, we will call Caroline. Caroline is being descended upon by about nine high teens. I am referencing their ages not state of being, not to my knowledge at any rate. These ubber bored teens have fully transitioned into psyched mode. The playful banter is in full swing into the evening, when the limo arrives to chariot them to the Huka Bar, a bar that is not really in all nine party-hopefuls legal reach. After a few “I left my wallet in the limo” stories and a few valid ID’s later, the 18-and-over Huka’s arrive at the table along with the non-alcohol beverages.
The party is in full swing, no one is holding their phone. All seem to be detached from any media source for the moment.
“I’m not going to try that.” declared a couple of kids, of course my daughter included. That faded as quickly as the checking of the proper ID’s. The Huka demo’s were held with all eyes focused. Suck in the flavored tobacco and see how much smoke you can billow out. French smoke rings anyone? Dragon Nose if you dare.
We’ll you know what happened next don’t you? Can anyone, who has even slightly been paying attention, guess?
Yep, you guessed it. The phones came out one by one. “Oh get this!” “Take me blowing smoke!” “Watch this, did you get it?” “This ones kool, get it, quick!” “Instagram it.” “Now Instagram this!” “Look what Kelly wrote back!” “Did you send it to Rachael?”
Chatter, Chatter, Capture, Capture. “Pose for this one.” “Now show everyone how much fun we are having.” “Make it look like you are really having fun.”
Wait……Did she really just say that? “Make it look like we are having fun.” But wait a minute. Back up about fifteen minutes and We all were REALLY HAVING FUN. For Real. We weren’t posing and pretending. We just were.
We/they all begin transitioning. Phones are in everyone’s hands now. Some are foursquar-ing, some are FaceBook-ing, pictures being perfected by INK-ing them. A short comment here and a little chatter there. All relating to who made a comment and what the picture looks like now.
No one is noticing this transition but my daughter. She notices because unlike everyone else in the room, she has left her phone in the limo. She sits alert. She starts to feels superior to these media crazed beings. “I can’t believe these kids today” she thinks, “put down your phones and get back to the moment where we were all 100 percent with each other.”
She tells me the next day, “Can no one function without taking a picture, I mean I get it, I love to capture the moment and all but the moment gets lost in the capture.” “One minute we are all just right there with each other and the next minute we are not connecting with each other but are connecting with people everywhere…but in this room.” “We all can’t wait to see each other and when we do, like for example, meeting for lunch, we chat each other up and all then after about ten minutes we are all looking at our phones and talking to each other without even looking up. This is if we even make it to ten minutes.”
She tells me this knowing it isn’t going to get any better any time soon. Lunch for two is now a multi-dimensional lunch and not in a good way.
When people I am visiting with start texting someone, I will sometimes ask them, “who is joining us”. They look up at me confused, then I explain that the person they are texting has now joined us and I was just curious who it is. Often they still look at me confused so I drop it while secretly daydreaming dropping them. Plenty of time for daydreaming while they focus on their ____?_____ .
Can you guess?