At lunch today, it took me some time to realise what was different. It wasn’t just that my four lunch partners were all quite a bit older than me–15 years, at least, and I’m not as young as you think I am. It was, I realised, that in more than two hours of eating not one of us had answered a phone–or even received a phone call, or text message, or furtively checked our email. I’m not sure any of us were packing a BlackBerry. Maybe my companions weren’t even carrying cellphones. It was extraordinary.
I was going to ask, but I didn’t want to ruin the moment. Here were five men sitting around a table talking about stuff for about 120 minutes, and not one single interruption by technology or modern communications. They weren’t even in sight: Not one of us had put a phone on the table in the usual custom of staking out one’s corner of the table. It felt like a flashback to the early 1990s. And it was great.
A recent survey in the UK highlights how mad we’ve become:
Our liking for modern technology may be disrupting our sleep – and even our relationships, claims a UK survey.
The poll, by The Sleep Council, found that many people admitted checking texts, surfing the internet, or playing games in bed.
It suggests one in four people now regularly sleeps in a different bed from their partner, and many often go to bed at different times.
God I miss the old days.
(And no, it wasn’t a boozy lunch. No alcohol in sight.)