Pop Culture

Thank The Lawd For Smartphones So You Don’t Have To Make Stupid Small Talk With Strangers

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shutterstock_177201455I get that it’s rude to text and scroll through Facebook when someone is trying to talk to you. I promise you that I still have manners and a slight semblance of human decency. But I am so very sick of people bashing technology—especially when it comes to “how the world is today” and how we are raising our children.

Let me give you the perfect example. I really, really love my smartphone, partially because I work online and it keeps me connected and partially because it is an endless source of entertainment. I still know how to have a conversation, and I’m good at making small talk with strangers. But many times, I just don’t want to.

Normally, I break out my smartphone when I’m in line at the grocery store. I still pay attention to my surroundings and say hello and goodbye to the cashier. However, I do use my phone as entertainment and a distraction instead of dopily staring into the face of the cashier as she scans my bananas.

Now is the perfect time for people to cry out in outrage about how our world has changed for the worse because of technology. No one talks to anyone anymore! No one smiles at strangers! No one understands what it’s like to make a human connection!

Au contraire, Pierre. First things first, I worked in customer service as a waitress for more than 10 years, and I can promise you that the cashier really doesn’t want to talk to you. Sure, she may ask how your weekend was, but she probably doesn’t want to know the answer. And if you give her a long, detailed explanation about how you went to the park with your kids because the weather finally cleared up, she’s likely to tune you out with a smile on her face. That’s what I did for 10 years as a server, and that’s how I made my tips.

So what are we really moaning about when we whine about how smartphones are ruining the universe? I personally don’t think human decency and social interaction have changed much in the past 30 years. Before the age of technology, people probably weren’t linking arms and dancing around the bus stop.

If you don’t know how to control your technology addiction, that’s on you. I’ll still continue to use my smartphone when I want, especially if it gets me out of awkward small talk with strangers.

(Image: Halfpoint/Shutterstock)