Take time out to connect

Nicole Robinson

While walking through the Campus Mall on a beautiful fall day, I spotted a close friend of mine. I called her name and tried to walk faster to catch up with her.

Making a fool of myself, I kept shouting her name so she could hear, recognize and acknowledge me.

Sometimes it just feels as if there is a lack
of communication between people.

She couldn’t hear me because she was listening to her MP3 player.

I don’t think there is one day that goes by during which people aren’t in their own little worlds talking on their cell phones, listening to music on their iPods or even playing those little hand-held video games.

There is nothing wrong with this. I have an iPod and a cell phone, and I use them regularly. However, sometimes it just feels as if there is a lack of communication between people.

Considering I am still kind of new to this school, it would be nice to meet people, make friends and maybe even find a lover. Of course it takes work to do this, and it takes conversation as well.

Take the bus, for example. There are two cases when this applies. One is where there are people waiting for the bus. They might be talking to someone on their cell or listening to the new song that just came out.

People either stand around and ignore one another or look at each other and just smile. There are hardly any conversations between people anymore.

The second is when people get on the bus. There are a bunch of people in a secluded rectangle on wheels. Every time I hop on, I see an intriguing guy I would like to sit next to and try to spark up a conversation with. It’s impossible. He is listening to his iPod or talking to someone on his cell phone. OK, so maybe the bus isn’t the best place to meet a guy … but I’m sure you know what I mean.

In Davies Center, I saw two guys sitting together at a booth and both were listening to their iPods, not even talking to each other. I found it odd. If I am eating lunch with someone, I want to talk to that person.

It’s also very rude when I am out to eat with a friend of mine and she answers her cell phone and holds a 10 minute conversation with her friend while I’m sitting across from her in a red vinyl booth, playing with my food and waiting for her to be done. The conversation in the first place wasn’t even that important and it definitely could have waited until we were no longer hanging out.

When I used to work the Culver’s drive-thru I would welcome customers to the restaurant and ask them what would they like. Some people would reply, “Hold on, I am on my cell phone.” So, everyone in the kitchen who was flipping those butterburgers would hear their conversations and, of course, the drive-thru line got backed up.

Another occurrence of communication breakdown happened while I was taking a walk. I saw a dad biking. Attached to his bike was one of those bike trailers in which a kid can sit in the back and be pulled along with the parent. I could hear the baby crying, and the dad didn’t seem to notice. I should have been minding my own business, but I couldn’t help but wonder why the father of this child wasn’t doing anything. As I got closer to the scene, I noticed a white set of headphones on his head. He couldn’t even hear his own child crying. I didn’t know whether to laugh or feel bad for the child.

Even while I was writing the rough draft of this column in the library, I was listening to my iPod. Someone was trying to whisper my name, and I couldn’t hear that person. I am guilty as well.

Sometimes we should all take a break from new technologies and just interact with each other the old way. Turn off your cell phones, iPods and other gadgets for one day. It will not hurt you. Just take a look around you. Remember to keep in mind that out of nowhere, someone could walk into your life, and that person just might be worth talking to.