I was in a long line at Starbucks this morning, happily waiting to feed my coffee addiction, when I noticed almost everyone looking down at their smart phones. This reminded me of a conversation I had at dinner the other night with friends, about how hard it seems for many young singles to meet “someone.”
Half my married friends met their significant others while in college or grad school. A few of us, including me, were set up on blind dates through family or friends. The rest met their besherts (or soulmates) by chance.
But does chance, stand a chance anymore?
It used to be if you were waiting in line, browsing the produce section, early for class, or simply bored at a party, you struck up a conversation, or at the very least, made eye contact with someone, because let’s face it there was nothing else to do.
Now people reach for their phones. God forbid we don’t have something to do with our hands. The uncomfortable silence or lack of stimulation is just too much to bear.
So how does anyone meet each other anymore? Does the “meet cute” that we see on television or in the movies really exist? Maybe, my generation just worked harder at it, because the luxury of internet dating didn’t exist.
My advice to the lonely hearts out there who want to make a love connection, put down your phones. Strike up a conversation. Your future love interest could be standing right in front of you…ordering a soy latte.
Sharon Hodor Greenthal says
My daughter showed me her Tinder account a few weeks ago and my first thought was I would have been obsessed with that when I was her age. Whether or not it would be better to put down the phones, I don’t think it’s going to happen…I noticed the same thing at the airport yesterday during the brief time I didn’t have my head in my computer!
Helene Cohen Bludman says
You are so right. Our kids are meeting people through social media now. I’ve heard of many successful outcomes on JDate and others. A different world …
Lois Alter Mark says
Totally agree. And even when they do meet, they spend more time texting each other than actually talking. I feel like a dinosaur complaining about it – and a hypocrite since I’m staring at a screen most of the day.
Debra Paget Harris says
I could not agree more! Our kids wouldn’t be able to exist without their cell phones and social media. Really makes you think about what technologies could possibly be next.
Mary Bird Lanzavecchia says
My daughters and I watch people sit next to each other, clearly “sharing time” together, with their noses down in their phones. I must admit, though, I’ve been guilty of stealing glances at my phone while sitting in the living room watching a movie with my family. Um, oops. Great reminder!
Heidi Sloss says
I agree, it is a problem for this generation. Do they know how to connect without their smart devices. Of course our generation has to take some responsibility for creating this situation as we spent much of their childhood teaching them all about stranger danger. So how can they trust their instincts when meeting random people?
Nancy Hill (@Nerthus) says
I feel old when I am traveling and want to ask someone about a book they are carrying but there is no opportunity to do so because as soon as the book is put down, the phone is picked up… I’m guilty of being overly connected too.
Janice Greenfield Rappoport-Wald says
Hi, I agree with you that technology has not helped in all ways. You can’t even comment on a book if you can’t see the cover due to kindle.
Ruth Curran says
Crazy truths. I can’t imagine standing in line anywhere any more without at least 80% of the people looking down – most days, including me…. Makes me think. I met my husband by chance. It would not have happened if I were as connected and worried about staying that way as I am now…. Insane to think about isn’t it?
Elin Stebbins Waldal says
SO true! I have observed the same thing, but not tied it to finding love. It seems as if no one is capable of resting in place alone, it actually frightens me. Every summer we take our kids to our summer cabin, while there we limit all the electronics. I am convinced this habit of learning to be quiet, to be still, to simply be, serves them.
Don’t you find you want to yell out, FOR GOODNESS SAKE TAKE A MINUTE OFF!
Love this post!
Rosalind Warren says
You’re absolutely right, of course. But will anybody — ever — put their phones down? Even for a minute? Not a chance.
Carol Cassara says
Great advice. That phone thing makes me nuts. Progress? Ha.
Lisa Carpenter says
I wrote an article for Next Avenue not all that long ago on the difficulty of finding a mate nowadays for young adult . The experts I interviewed said this very same thing. Look up, single folks, for your true love may be right in front of you!
I went to dinner with my cousin. She put her phone on the table and each time it bizzed, she went to check her message. THere was no emergency, she was just possessed by texts. I changed tables and ate alone. Apparently, she had more than enough company.
I have seen couples clearly on a date each staring into their respective cell phones and hardly ever acknowledging one another during a meal.
I can only IMAGINE the honeymoon . . .
Hayley Kaplan says
Couldn’t agree with you more. But there are so many more reasons than that to put down our cell phones. People are losing the ability to communicate appropriately in general. I am always surprised by the number of people together, yet alone, in restaurants. Why bother to go eat with someone if you’re on the phone throughout the meal texting someone else or checking email or doing whatever else they’re all doing as they’re looking at their phones instead of engaging in the moment. I’m going to share your article on my FB page. It’s a true problem relating to technology.
Ali A says
Sigh. I hate how true this is. I’m a 32 year old single female and I’ve been on both sides. I often catch myself glued to my phone when on the subway, on line at the store, or anywhere in public, really. I’ll then realize just how unapproachable that makes me and so I’ll put the phone down and try to take a look around at my surroundings. Not necessarily because I’m trying to find the love of my life, but just to take in the sights and also get some great NYC people-watching in.
And that’s when I realize: everyone ELSE is on their phone or has their nose in some kind of device. Human interaction of any kind with strangers is just G-O-N-E. No one ever looks up from their i(Pad)(Phone)(Pod) and it’s really, really sad.
You’re right; this behavior makes it virtually impossible to meet people in any capacity. Boo.
Yup, this makes me so sad when I see folks glued to their phones. Can’t say I’m innocent of it but when I catch myself I put the phone away. It’s harder to strike up a conversation with someone when they look engrossed in their phone!