Every week I work at a restaurant entertaining families during dinner for Kids Night. Every week there are some families with devices out during and throughout the meal. It is just as often parents ignoring their kids on a device as it is parents letting a device babysit their child (in lieu of talking, or playing, or some innovation like that I guess). Sometimes every person at the table is on a device! I am blessed that many families come in with great anticipation of a visit and balloon animal from their ol’ pal Jenny the Juggler. With them I have the honor of genuine personable exchanges, after which their child is left with an ACTUAL (if temporary) object, IRL*, with curiously unusual PHYSICAL properties.
But there are some families for whom the child is so engrossed in a device that that they miss out on the interaction altogether. Nearly always I can pull the child’s attention if I try, though regrettably I admit I am so turned off by this choice that sometimes instead I just perform the presentation as *if* they are listening, and leave their balloon sculpture on the table. In my head I say, “OK well if it’s THAT important to them…!” Thank goodness that is the exception, but it still indicative of a disturbing societal trend.
Kind of like THIS:
*IRL = In Real Life!