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Saturday, June 30, 2007

Devil State

What did North Carolina do that so cursed it to be so miserable? Really, the weather is so fickle and.... just.... mean. It has this beautiful sounding rain with powerful thunder and dazzling lightning shows, but when you actually go outside, it is muggy and humid and hot. You feel like you're in a steam room. Then it has days where it wants to torture you with blue skies and chirping birds... devil birds. It isn't a sunny, pretty day. It's a humid, give-me-back-my-breath day. And if you thought you were going to run around and have fun in it, North Carolina will laugh at you and make you feel exhausted just walking to your car.

And a lot of people seem to be very upset about something. Not everyone, but pretty much all customer service representatives and anyone you inadvertently make eye contact with.

And something I've observed: people are so disconnected. I was sitting in the courtyard at church (and at this church, nobody knows anybody.... except the people in their sunday school class - it is so big) and as people walked by, the older the person the more likely it was that I'd get a smile. If they were really up in age I might even get a, "Hi, how are you?" or some variation. All the teenagers were texting or talking on their cell phone. Even the generation that birthed them was disconnected. It was apparent in the way they carried their conversations across the courtyard, too. An older pair would talk and grin and look around. They were aware of the outside world. They would toss me a quiet smile or a nod. Two younger talkers would look at the ground if not one another and would completely ignore that there was a girl sitting on the bench they were passing. It was very interesting.

Beth made a good point that people are more selfish the younger they are. This is true. But I also think that all the things we have now: TV, cell phones, Internet, glossy magazines; are contributing in alienating us all from each other. We care less about passing on a friendly word or gesture than what the latest gossip about Britney and Lindsay is. We are more caught up in our virtual conversations filled with these... things that pass as words because phonetically you can sort of understand it (who needs to care about stuff like spelling and punctuation when you can save a couple key strokes by typing "sk8" instead?). We are pulling the plug on the real world. I hope that it can be reversed. I would hate for my kids to not know what it's like to knock on the door and ask if Bobby can come out to play. I'd hate for them to say, "Oh Mom," when I tell them that we didn't always have phones with us everywhere we went and that sometimes we actually had to go in a building and ask an employee to make a call. Or that we had to go all the way to the library to research things because the world's information wasn't at our fingertips whenever we wanted it. Hmm... I wonder if my kids will know what a library is..

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