31 August 2008
Being where we aren't
I saw this photo of Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin and her (or her daughter's?) five-month old baby this morning and my heart just squinched up.
Some other people had posted it with "This is what feminism looks like!" excitedly, and I really had to stop and think why this photo made me feel so sad.
I mean, moms should be able to work, right? And they shouldn't have to think of their children every single minute, I can see that. Women have always had to multitask.
I wondered "Would I have felt the same way if it was a working mom in another situation, say, a mom with a baby in a rebozo, selling food at a market?" I don't think so. Seeing her texting made me feel sad.
There is something to me unique about mobile devices - and I HAVE a Blackberry - because it takes so much attention and takes us so completely away from the present moment. The temptation to check the damned thing is always with us.
I feel sad that mobile devices are running our lives. We don't have the patience or discipline to leave them alone. I have had so many frustrating, trying times with friends, feeling like I have to compete for their attention with their phone/device. Even if we are together, we aren't really together because they are always pulled elsewhere by little beeps and tones.
Just the other day, in a lunch group of six, someone took a call right in the middle of the meal, at the table. It wasn't an important call, just one of those "Where are you, honey? Oh, I'm at lunch" calls. Totally unnecessary and it interrupted the whole conversation and messed with the group dynamic. It is normal to many people, but to me it is still quite rude.
I don't think the sadness that came up when I saw this photo is about moms working while holding babies. It is more about how this technology has invaded our lives, and how easy it is to get carried away by it, and how much we miss out on when we do.