(This post was originally a rant on Facebook)

{soapbox on}

Dear people.

This is just to let any people geographically close to me that I shall not be speaking with you while you have a phone, tablet or other such device in your hand. I love you all dearly but no longer want to hold half-sided conversations with the top of your head.

I know that I sometimes lapse and will not feel at all offended if you ignore me should I do the same. So, if in the middle of a conversation I stop speaking with you, it is because:

  1. my larynx has been the only part of me taken in the rapture;
  2. my lungs have spontaneously moved three metres to my left leaving me with no way of exhaling; or
  3. you have picked up your smart device and are Googling, Bing’ing, snapchatting, Facebooking, sending a text message, reading a text message, taking a selfie, changing your music which is blaring into one side of your brain by way of the really silly looking dangling bit of wire that terminates in the bud stuck in your ear (I know, your really are listening to me), reading e-mails, sending e-mails, attending to the important pop-up request that Betty needs your help in Candy Crush, rushing back to feed your zoo animals, your garden, your farm critters, or just seeing how many likes your Instagram picture of your latest profile picture has received.

This is for all people, old or young. Again, I know I sometimes am an offender. My pledge is that, in return to understanding why I have spent time on this rant and may on occasion cut short our discussions, I shall try to be attentive to any discourse and let the electronic world wait. This also means that if your send me a text message you may have to wait for a reply. If you ring, I may not answer. Your e-mails could sit for some time as unread and Betty – deal with Candy Crush yourself!

I’m not being rude or a Luddite.

I am happy for you to share with me the YouTube video you are watching, or for you to use your tablet in your role as quiz master for the nightly newspaper quiz. I just don’t want to have half a conversation with you while you are giving the other half of your attention to the gadget in your hand.

I think it is time we placed a higher value on the people in front of us than our time with a screen.

{soapbox off}