I stopped in for an oil change this week and noticed something. After spending too much time visiting with the service person as he checked me in and got all of the paperwork set up for the oil change and tire rotation, I grabbed my backpack and headed off to the lounge to get some work done on my laptop. As I walked into the lounge, someone else was sitting socially distanced from the chair that I chose to sit in. The TV is usually on, but it wasn’t this day, though that isn’t what was catching my attention.
What struck me as I sat down to pull out my laptop was the computer on his lap. No, it wasn’t the same brand as mine or even spectacular in color or form—a simple black laptop open with him intently looking at the screen. I glanced over a couple of times to see if he would look up from what he was busy with, but he never did. So, I grabbed my laptop out of my backpack and opened it up, inspired to write this article.
It is amazing how disconnected we are in our socially connected society. We know how everyone is doing through the different social media forums—well, we know all the good things that are happening in their lives and the made-to-look-good-things. We will send heart emojis and thumbs up, or click the “like” button; but, do we ever communicate on a personal level? Are we really connected or just looking good on the different forums as we keep our distance from being open and real with each other. Are we really socially connected or “socially distanced?”
I looked up every minute or so, just to see if he was looking up from his screen. I tried on several occasions to make eye contact, but with no luck. It could have been that he was doing the same and our timing was just off. It almost became a challenge! As I was doing this every few minutes, someone else came and occupied the third chair in the waiting room--and yes, they also had a laptop. This laptop I recognized since it had the same fruit on the top as mine does. Without looking like a totally creepy person, I kept glancing toward her until she glanced my way. I quietly said “Hi,” and she cautiously replied “Hi” back, then opened her laptop and looked down as her fingers started working the keyboard. I still glanced over at the gentleman, without even a momentary glance back to which I could say “Hi.”
Oh yeah, did I mention that all three of us had our phones out, also?
I am not suggesting we become creepy people as we travel this earth, just that we make the attempt to look up from our busy lives to at least try to engage others. Sometimes, simply saying hello can make someone’s day, especially when it has become so rare to hear it. Who knows, that hello may turn into a conversation, and then into a discussion about God, and then a soul knowing of God’s love. Nah, that will never happen! It may not, but I know for sure it will never happen if we don’t decide it’s time for a change in the way we see those around us.
Looking up to say Hi,