by Ronit Herzfeld
The Huffington Post
February 10th, 2011
Last week my friend “Julie” and I finally went out to dinner. I had not seen her for a couple of months and we were particularly excited to have a chance to spend some quality time together. No sooner did we sit down at our table than out came her Blackberry. I felt a twinge in my chest, but held my tongue. A few minutes later, I was sharing some exciting news with her and heard that irritating text sound go off. She immediately reached out to check the message and began to respond. I suddenly felt invisible; it was as if I didn’t exist. When she finished, I asked her if there was an emergency or something critical that she needed to attend to. She said yes but gave me no further details. A few minutes later her text went off and she responded again. At that point I requested that — unless there was a life or death issue, I’d appreciate it if she turned her phone off. I could see how hard it was for her to let it go. It was clear to me that there was no emergency, and that my otherwise very sensitive and caring friend was at the mercy of this little gadget. We are all aware of how helpful, expedient and efficient our various technological devices can be. But what is not so clear is how they may be affecting our minds, our attitudes, and our relationships.
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