Sunday, 5 May 2013

Time and Tide


"Time and tide wait for no man", so the old proverb says.

It seems that most young people, (and that means anyone younger than me), are on a treadmill and don't have the time to visit (or even speak) these days.
If I phone, then most of them are about to go out, eat or are engrossed in some activity, usually to do with screens and tell me they are too busy to talk.
When they do visit, they are distracted, fiddling with their phones, listening but not really listening, if you know what I mean. However, mostly they decline to come in at all and just collect the thing they have come for and they say that they are running late and had to be somewhere else 10 minutes ago.

Was I really like this when I was their age? Maybe I was irritated by older folk slowing down but I seem to remember visiting friends of all age groups as well as parents and I did give them some undivided attention. Indeed, even today, my Sunday afternoons are spent visiting an elderly, infirm lady in her nineties who lives alone with a serious health problem and no family. Quite often, she is most disagreeable but sometimes a pleasure to be with. I go and visit her because I can imagine how it must be for her to have no family. She is old enough to be my mother and yet I regularly go and spend an hour with her. It doesn't seem unreasonable, does it?
Only older folk know what it is like to be in this position and they have empathy with one another.

Where has compassion gone to these days? Surely if people are that busy then they are too busy and they run the risk of serious health problems later on ..... or are we all meant to be living alone in our little boxes with only screens for company?


27 comments:

Irene said...

I live a fairly solitary life and it is by choice that I do. I see myself growing old with few friends. The friends I have are fellow bloggers and the ones on Facebook and I am happy with them. I don't need much more than that. I do have my animals and always will and I do have my regular outings and come in contact with the world. I am my own best company.

Formerly known as Frau said...

It's a different time that is true....I try to unconnected from the virtual world has much as possible. But for me living away from family i've actually stayed more connected to them virtually. Have a wonderful Sunday!

Mimi said...

It's sad, isn't it Maggie?
I think technology has complicated things in a way...in the olden days, people just called, now they text to arrange to phone, or contact by facebook.
I think there's nothing to beat a face to face chat, over a cuppa.
Having said that, my own life is very busy and it's a real effort sometimes to juggle it all! But I do try!

Rose said...

I agree completely, Maggie. One of my sons in particular often sits looking at his phone while he's here visiting; I think it's rude, but I haven't had the nerve to tell him so.

I think it's wonderful you are visiting your elderly neighbor; I'm sure she looks forward to these visits every week. I'm also feeling a bit guilty--all week I've intended to call my mom, but just haven't gotten around to it. No more excuses--I'm doing it today!

mypoeticpath said...

This is an excellent post and reminder to all of us, young, old and in-between to actually LIVE in the moment and not waste it on fiddling, fussing, worthless pursuits...in the big picture, most of that kind of activity amounts to nothing.

They say that the kids coming up now are losing their ability to converse, with so much texting. When I was a teenager, we LIVED on the phone LOL, so conversing was something I never lost the ability for. ;<)

Hugs, G

Sue said...

Maggie, I fear that although near the same age, I have fallen victim to this...it seems like I had more time when I was younger, even when I was working full-time and trying to finish my dissertation, to sit and visit with people. I have not succumbed to the cell phone habit (half of my students sit and play with their phone through out class time)...but fear that the rest of that describes me...so busy, but at what?

Celia said...

The younger members of my family seem very, very, busy, a choice for certain, and are close to their e-toys. I miss the company, and frankly the adults look stressed and detached. Maybe I looked that way at their age, who knows? I called and wrote to my parents. It's a different world.

Dimple said...

Hi Maggie,
It is a hard thing, to slow down to the pace at which we used to live, before we had so many devices and activities clamoring for attention. Rudeness and rush are deplorable results of modern day "connected" living.

Friko said...

No, we are not MEANT to be like that but that’s the way things are going.
Young people seem to have a fear of being contaminated by old age. Or bored, or something.

Fine, Let’s keep up with older friends.

Her Preppiness said...

I hear you. I am addicted to technology. However I know how to put it away. My niece and nephew are always too busy to talk or even return a text. I am over it.

Retired English Teacher said...

Amen, Sister. You hit the nail on the head in this post. I could not agree with you more. It is a sad state of affairs we live in these days.

Feeling sorry for myself today, I said, I feel like a "childless mother" or much like a "motherless child" would feel. It seems our children, and our grandchildren are all the same these days.

God bless you for visiting this older lady. Yes, in our youth, I think we did sit down and converse with our elders and with our peers. Those days seem to be gone.

lailani said...

A struggle indeed, but having one's face glued to screen while visiting is rude. I have friends in their 40's that will receive a text and answer it in the middle of a conversation and it is not their kids, just chit chat, if you will. This morning during communion, as a family went forward, the 11 year old brought up the rear and was texting! Where is the manner police? :-)

Cheers

Jackie said...

What a kind and dear lady you are.
I mean that from the bottom of my heart. I pray that we all...no matter what our age...take time to show that we love and care for each other.

Ayak said...

I've just spent 10 days in the UK surrounded by people glued to their mobile phones, and then I return to a brief few hours with my husband who does the same/. I hate it. It's downright rude. I don't do it. I give people my undivided attention, so don't know why they can't do the same.

Akelamalu said...

Technology can be a good thing in that it makes it possible to 'talk' to people we have met. However, sadly, it does seem to take over the lives of the younger generation and sometimes prevents them having a 'proper' conversation.

Jeni said...

I do believe you've hit the nail on the head! I have a cell phone that my son and his girlfriend got for me about 18 months ago. It's one that is offered for those of us old folks through some special program and thus, it is free. It is also free of any fancy extras too -like a camera function or text messages or even voice mail but hey, they got it because they felt I needed it to have a way to contact them or others in case of an emergency of some type or other. The only stipulation with it is that it must be used at least once a month to keep up the contract and every month, I get a reminder from the company to be sure to use it to keep it activated. Shows how often I DON'T use it then, doesn't it? But I've come to totally dislike cellphones for much the same reasons as you described. My daughter comes home from work and before she can put her stuff done, her phone is going off -signaling either an incoming call or a text message and then, she stands in a corner of the kitchen (better reception, ya know) for the next 1/2 hour to 45 minutes just texting back and forth to whoever! This goes on then periodically throughout the rest of the day until around 9 p.m. when she takes her things along with the cordless house phone up to her room to continue this communication with points far and near! Irritating? Yes, very!

Secret Agent Woman said...

When I was younger, I enjoyed spending time with my grandparents. Now, I'm busier than I was then (kids, career, relationships). But when I do go see my mother, SHE'S the one who is absorbed in the computer! I like technology as much as the next person, but when I'm with someone, I want to be present.

Brian Miller said...

i am glad your friend has you...i think too often my generation still believes we have all the time int he world and forget what is important filling our time with things that in the long run will mean little...

Mary Gilmour said...

Well, at least there are blog friends.
I know exactly what you mean about the phone fiddling. My son-in-law never puts his Iphone down.
AAAAAAAgggg.

Along These Lines ... said...

Young folk can only make virtual visits these days

reasonscheerful123 said...

Hmmmm I am not sure young people have no time or compassion but those that have had more of their lifespan WITH handy day-to-day technology than without, certainly (in this house at lease) do need firm protocol reminders on where and when it's OK to use them! I find more sociable kids/adults are often the worst as they find constant text/twitter/facebook updates impossible to ignore! As for spending time...it's a shame our western world is so full on and busy - it's a cultural thing I'm sure and something we have to make an effort to highlight and resist. We all feel it when we're down and need support, even those who can be guilty of neglect.Off the soapbox I jump now!

mrsnesbitt said...

Bloody phones!

RNSANE said...

It's a shame that we can't take a few minutes to spend time with people, without constantly checking our mobile phones and sending and receiving text messages. Even when dining out with friends, everyone seems caught up doing this, rather than socializing with their dinner companions. People have forgotten the rules of ettiquette.

Hilary said...

I think it's lovely that you visit your neighbour regularly. I agree that so many people have their faces in their phones or other devices these days. I have one cousin who will carry on long cell phone conversations when we're out to lunch together.. or worse, when she's visiting me. Most people aren't like that though. It's not just the technology.. it's an inherent lack of manners. Technology just makes it easier to be rude.

Sandy Carlson said...

I think technology has created the illusion of urgency in all things that undermines relationships. There is so little silence, so little contemplation, so little patience....

Suburbia said...

Oh Maggie, I feel exhausted and wish I could just stop a while but there is always so much to do! I envy those who can Leave things until later! Perhaps that should be my next learning curve?!

This week I will try to adjust my priorities

I am sorry you are visited by those with no time, you deserve better.

S x

Suburbia said...

I seem to have lost my comment!

It said, I think, that I'm sorry you are visited by those who are distracted, you deserve better.