This is a point that I'm sure I've made before, but cannot help making once again: I simply cannot believe how many parents allow their children to play on their mobile devices at restaurants. I've been out and about quite a bit the past week or so and have noticed this phenomenon every time. (Adults are just as guilty of doing this, so it's no wonder the kids simply follow suit.) It is something that never ceases to amaze me, and yet at the same time, isn't really all that surprising, given the sorry state of our boorish culture, where social mores and etiquette, along with morality, reason, common sense, political astuteness, taste, etc., have gone out the window. The art of conversation is a casualty of the mobile age, ironic, since this dazzling technology's goal is allegedly to bring us "closer together" and to make the world smaller. I disagree. Parents sitting right next to their own kids at dinner are now farther apart, more detached, than ever.
I have to wonder how much these kids are using these devices at home, if, for even an hour-long dinner, they cannot put the stupid hand-held device down. And shame on the parents for being so lazy and insouciant. It's a rather awkward scene: the parents kind of just sit there, with a deer-in-the-headlights stare, occasionally sipping their coffee and talking to each other, while the kids are in la-la land, thumbing away with text messages or video games. Don't they realize how ridiculous this looks? When will these kids be forced to grow up? When will they learn how to have an actual conversation?
Have you ever tried talking to an American adolescent lately? It's like trying to pull teeth. I usually just give up after a noble effort, since extracting any serious thought is now, evidently, some form of torture or "bullying," an act which I'm sure the U.N. Security Council will be passing a resolution against in the near future.
If parents aren't going to teach their kids, I don't see much hope for improvement.