The allure of instant information is as addictive as any drug or drink I’ve ever taken. With a upward thumb swipe I can unlock my droid, press no more than two icons, and know more about the world quicker than it would take my grandparents to read an entire newspaper or watch the nightly news. I can also connect with like-minded people, that I swore didn’t exist when I was growing up, and alleviate the pressure of mental illness, being different, and intellectual loneliness (on certain issues and habits) in seconds. To call this sexy is way too weird so I’ll choose the word - attractive. But the downside is the people who are most important to me, my wife and three daughters, get gipped of their connection from me.
Sometimes I’m stupid. You’re shaking your head up and down and saying “yeah, dude, there’s 700 other posts on this blog that make that fact loud and clear.” But sometimes I’ve really really stupid away from this blog.
Last Saturday my wife, Deana, aka The Bobina, was specific in what she wanted for her birthday. Every year, I know how important the celebration of her birth is to her. She parties for at least a week and that’s okay. I love her self-confidence and bold display of Bobinaness. I’d give anything if I had her gumption and rock star attitude. She wanted to go eat our favorite food, sushi, then walk around a local mall, ostensibly to buy new clothes for her upcoming Florida vacation with a girlfriend. I don’t toss around the word hate a lot. But I HATE shopping. She knows this, but that’s what she wanted. She doesn’t like watching football games or listening to punk music. But when my birthday comes around September 10th (cash in lieu of gifts, please), she knows buzzing guitars, screaming vocals and games by the Jets and Falcons will be filling our house for 24 hours. Marriage is awesome like that, isn’t it? The problem was, I couldn’t deliver my end of the bargain because after dinner, while she tried on everything in the zillion square foot mall that is Sugarloaf Mills, I couldn’t stay off my phone.
I’m not going to defend myself. Yeah, I’m an Indie author with a book out, thus making me a small business dependent of social media and email. Sure, I get a lot of my news and information from the Twitter and blogs, where I’m active as a writer. You betcha that most of my Internet activity is innocent updating and mild entertainment. But this was her night. She deserved my full attention and fake smile as she pulled on another pair of shorts. But I screwed up.
I didn’t realize my grevious error until the next day when it was mentioned by her. I honestly thought she was ignoring me because Burlington Coat Factory had a stuff on sale.
*side note* shouldn’t that place be called Burlington Clothes Factory? I mean coats make up less than half their inventory.
But she wasn’t ignoring me. She saw every thumb swipe, each chuckle at a decent tweet, and all the finger shuffles as I answered replies, emails, and blog comments. I sucked that night. I don’t think I’m as bad as my teenage daughter who has burned many plates of brownies because she wouldn’t stop texting. I’ve seen her run into furniture and people because her friends just had to send her something so random that it needed to be checked immediately. But last Saturday was special for the Bobina and I blew it.
My dear writer friend Andra Watkins wrote about being unable to enjoy a spa experience because of similar dooshy behavior by those around her http://andrawatkins.com/2013/04/03/he-took-it-out/ . It’s bad when you relate to the antagonists in your friends’ stories.
I like Twitter, the book o face doesn’t bother me some of the times, and I dig blogging the mostest; but I love my family, especially The Bobina. This isn’t a “cell phones are the devil” post nor is it “social media friggin rules, get over it people” one, either. But I need to find a balance between family time and self-expressionism that blogging that the media that is social emulates. It’s great to be connected. But I need to make sure I’m connected the right way.
Here’s the Stereo MCs. Feel free to dance.