My son is sitting on the couch singing to himself, but otherwise everything is quiet right now. The glow of computer screens illuminates the faces of my children and my mother. Obviously, I am at my computer as well writing this. The TV is a silent black square in the corner. We are all in the same room but are all occupied with our devices.
It’s odd. I know that it would be easy to call attention to the fact that none of us are communicating with each other. It would be easy to pull out a board game and get everyone down in the floor to play. We do that sometimes. But I won’t right now.
I have roughly ten minutes before I need to walk out the door for work. The kids have maybe twenty before bed time. My mom is just checking facebook to see what her sister is doing and maybe play some candy crush.
It ten minutes I will stand up and reach for my coat. (It gets chilly at work.) I will sling my messenger bag over my shoulder and move toward the door. By the time I reach for the handle both kids will be off their computers and giving me hugs and my mom will call out. “Have a good night.”
We may all be plugged in but we are still in tune with each other as well. We also know that the people are more important than the machines. Which is why I don’t mind having computer time in the evening every now and then.