Have a seat

On the way back home after our short Summer 2010 trip, I saw this old timer. Immediately, my childhood memory came back to visit me.

I grew up in several houses with a porch to sit on. One of the best memories I have was the wide porch at my grandma’s house. On both corners, my grandma put the red chairs almost like this only in wider and shorter size. We used to sit there in the late afternoon just to see people passing by and feel the breeze. Or enjoying a bowl of beef meatballs or chicken porridge from the street hawkers that we called on Sunday morning. But most of the time, we just sat there and had a late afternoon chitchat. I think, in those days, most of Indonesians like to sit on their porch doing those things.

But now? Life has changed so much. A porch is a just an empty place. A house most of the times only has its people for less than 8 hours as the rest of the day they are away. People spend their time more outside the house. Life has become so hectic and everybody live in fast line. People that I saw nowadays got no time anymore just to have seat and talk without their cellphones ready on their hands.

We don’t visit friends at their house anymore. After work life, we lead our social life in the café or restaurant in the big malls. Then when we agree to meet or catch up with each other, we make sure also we use the same time to answer our text messages or update our existence in the social media that we belong to.

Honestly, I think that is a rude attitude. You have agreed to spend your time with a real person in front of you but why you still have to answer those text messages or update your social network media? Can you just switch off your cellphone or that smartphone for a while so you could enjoy a real conversation with your real friend that is sitting in front of you? Is that replying text messages or updating your latest status a matter life or death?

Some of friends said got to become multi-taskers. Oh I think not. When you are having a real person in front you for a real talk, you have to pay 100% attention to this person. We all like the feeling of being important, don’t we? If you are still texting with someone out there than paying 100% attention to me, I know which one is the more important for you. So put away your gadget for a while, please?

A friend complained to me the other day about her small reunion. She said she was so ready to catch up with her friend in this café, expecting to have real talk. However, that three hours meeting, she said, turned out to be useless. Half of the time her friend was busy texting and the conversation seemed only last half way because always got interrupted with the on and on beeping sound from her cellphone. My friend has old cellphone, she only uses it for make a call. She had to wait her friend to finish texting before they continued their conversation which then got interrupted again. Finally, she said to this busy texting friend: “Seems like you got more entertained with your Blackberry than with me. I think if we don’t meet up next time, it would be okay.”. After she said that, her friend put her Blackberry away. Too bad, my friend already lost her appetite to enjoy her reunion.

One funny thing I also noticed in my friends’ pictures and how the smart phones has ruled their life. In many pictures that had been released through their Facebook, they all were holding their smart phones whilst pictures were taken. Seems like their phones have become their second heart. They really could not put that away, even an inch, during a picture taking. “Gotta hold my phone!” 🙂

I’m not cribbing about the smart phone although I survive so far without a cellphone. I agreed with the many benefits that come with the smart phone. All I’m saying here, when it comes to meet real person, let’s have a seat and a real conversation. You are in front of me and I’m the real person in your real time to have conversation with. We still entitled to have the undivided attention, right?

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