Full moon, clear skies, linen covered tables, delectable dinners and twinkle lights like little stars flicker over the patio. Traditional concertino music wafted in from the concert down the block. A perfect night at Medusa, one of our favorite seafood restaurants in San Salvo Marino.
Jack, I whispered, look around. Notice anything odd?
Whaaat? Jack bellowed his favorite response to anything I ask. What am I supposed to see?
The evil FaceBook blue light of enticement, addiction and control. That’s what.
Whaaat? Get over the phone on the table fixation.
Maybe, I am fixated on groups of people who don’t talk. The first time I saw a couple eating dinner and each reading a book, I was horrified. Why aren’t they talking? Who could go out to dinner and not talk? It was beyond my comprehension. Now, I see it all the time. At Medusa I saw –
Two 50-something well dressed women sipping wine, sharing a seafood antipasti and each reading FaceBook.
A family of three each eating their own pizza and slopping tomatoes on their Facebook linked phones.
An older elegant couple – like Jack and I – eating cozze, mussels cooked in a touch of white wine, staring at their telephones.
Nonna, nonno, mom, pop and one baby were all staring at cell phones. Yup, the moment they sat down, the mom plopped a hand held device in front of the kid.
I could go on and on and on. There were only three groups – four if you count Jack and I – out of about 20 tables that were not glued to their fakakata phones. There were the two men and their adorable dog who chatted away. The couple with the not so adorable 3 year old who they had to chase all over the patio. Lastly, a young family of mom, dad and two sons. The boys were both under 8 or 9 and were chatting about their day at the beach.
This addiction to FaceBook at Italian dining tables is troublesome on so many levels. The silence is deafening. No one listens to the joys and tribulations of the day because they are commenting on pictures of flowers, food and other people’s babies. Over the past few years the FaceBook ferver has grown and grown. I fear that the stereotypical loud Italian conversations will soon fade to key taps.
When we are in the USA, I don’t notice as many phones out on restaurant tables. Have you seen an increase in diminished conversation and growing table side telephone staring? Am I the only person who finds this FaceBook addiction unnerving?
Frankly, I don’t understand the need for Facebook. Somehow we all got along before the social media pipeline sucked us in.
I hear you. I hear you. Yup, this blog has a FaceBook page. Yup, I use it to let people know about Pontelandolfo and our program Cooking in the Kitchens of Pontelandolfo. Yup, I post links to The NY Times in hopes that those who suck on the teat of fake news websites will read something a bit more valid. Yup, I spend about 1\2 an hour a day checking my notifications and my pages. Yup, the fact that I too have a FaceBook account makes me culpable.
But it doesn’t make me not stare at the ocean, while dining at an outdoor cafe or ignore the people I’m out to lunch with.
Rant is over. Let me know what you think. Maybe I am fixated.