kristin_Dec_13 copy.jpg

Virtual World

Hey did you see so and so’s status update? Beep. Brrrring. Bark. Guitar strum. Sorry, I just tweeted! Mwah—Selfie! Hold on a sec, sorry, I gotta finish this text. Get together y’all, let’s post a pic of us at dinner! OMG. LOL. Honey, can’t you see Mommy is very busy on her phone? Hold on a sec, quick email. Why haven’t you friended me back yet? I can’t believe you haven’t heard yet, it was all over Instagram. Click, click, tap, tap…

Part of me really wants to give thumb communication the middle finger.

Much has been said and written about how people expend more energy and intention updating about their lives than they do living them. I mean, how many vacation photos have you seen with captions like, “Check out this sunset! Unreal!” Um, are you really enjoying that sunset? Or are you documenting it? “Kids at the park!” Oh I see, and you are playing with your phone while they choke on pea gravel? “Cheers! Happy Anniversary to us!” My, how romantic, dear God I hope we don’t get another update later. We used to have to suffer through other people’s photo albums if an evening took a nostalgic or narcissistic turn and the hosts pulled them off a dusty shelf, now we have to see them as they are happening. We are saying, “Look at my life” to random people more often than we are inviting special people to truly be part of it.

It’s kind of creepy and surreal, reading everyone’s super awesome updates. Hi from the Virgin Islands! Just got a promotion! Pregnant again! Bonjour from Paris! Junior holding his report card—straight A’s again! Here’s me on the finish line—Ironman’s are getting easier! Little Susie got into Harvard—yay!

No one ever posts the real stuff like: PMS again! Just ate a bag of Tostitos and an entire row of Oreos! Junior is barely scraping by with a C! Ruh-roh, just got pulled over! Still constipated! Hi from El Paso! I just gained five pounds! Losing my hair! Losing my mind! All the kids have lice! Boss said to clean out my desk! Johnny’s skipping college and might get a job at GameStop! No. No one says these things. These kinds of updates are reserved for actual conversation, between real friends, not cyber acquaintances we want to impress.

We carry our phones around the way people used to carry babies. Aww, careful now don’t drop it, they crack real easy! You don’t understand, I’m exhausted, I have to keep my eye on it every second. Let’s set it right here in the middle of our dinner, in case it makes a peep. (The second it does, you do understand I will have to tend to it, probably even take it to the bathroom or outside for a walk.) OH MY GOD I FORGOT IT IN MY CAR! We hold them, stare longingly at them, we monitor their batteries, we charge them in the car, we have Bluetooth for them, we (hopefully) put them on silent at the movies and in church, we go back home if we forget them, we are completely lost and forsaken if they disappear. They cause a lot of trouble on an airplane. We definitely don’t want our own children to have one too soon.

Don’t get me wrong, I like my phone. If I can’t find it, I have no idea what people’s phone numbers or addresses are, what I’m doing next if my calendar isn’t beeping instructions at me, and I wouldn’t know how to get there anyway without my phone’s map. It’s a tool, and I clearly rely on it too much. When someone says, “Sorry my phone battery died,” it can be an accepted excuse for pretty much anything. I forgot your name, your birthday, I couldn’t call, I’m late, I’m lost, I’m cheating, I’m a no-show, plans changed.

It scares me the way some younger people rarely make eye contact; a whole group of them ‘together’ yet silent, staring down at screens through shaggy side bangs. It scares me even more that ‘grown-ups’ are doing the same thing. I saw a married couple on a dinner date recently, fork in one hand and thumb on phone in the other. We are human beings. Beings need to Be. We cannot connect through updates. We can’t share our feelings through Emojis. We can’t date via text. We cannot share time if we won’t make it or take it.

It’s time to take our thumbs out of our (phones) and reengage in real life and in each other.

Credits

Illustration by Joy Gallagher

RELATED ARTICLES

  • 0f8dfbf1-b6d6-4c56-b842-05d45acda39c.gif
  • image1.JPG
  • Elite 25_300x250.gif
  • unnamed-37.jpg
  • Copenhagen_Feb2015.jpg

SIGN UP FOR OUR WEEKLY

eNewsletter

currentIssue.png
June_Cover-108x108.jpeg
  • 1cb151d1-621d-47f9-941e-7259eea04612.gif
  • Subscribe.jpg
TRIBEZA BLOGS
Screen Shot 2016-05-06 at 2.07.04 PM.png

As the warm weather begins to set in and patio parties hit our calendars, we can’t help but embrace that summertime has returned to Austin. If you’re anything like us, you’ll be celebrating the return of the season with decadent ice cream, healthy smoothies and icy cocktails from your favorite local spots.

For those days when it’s too hot to venture out, we went to Austin’s sweet treat professionals and compiled the ultimate collection of DIY recipes to make from your home. Click through the galleries below to learn how to make everything icy and sweet, from poptails for date night to ice cream sandwiches for a dinner party.

more
unnamed.jpg

The spring edition of the Renegade Craft Fair returns for its seventh year in Austin May 14-15 at Fair Market. With over 125 makers on the roster, the scene is sure to be bustling with local artisans and DIYers slinging their unique, one-of-a-kind wares. In addition to great shopping, the RCF offers activities, special showcases and plenty of food and drink options for visitors. This year, celebrate your hard work shopping with a snack from Burro Cheese Kitchen and Lucky Lab Coffee Co. before commemorating the afternoon with some snapshots from Magnolia Photo Booth Co. But before...

more
TRIBEZA04.jpg

Inspired by the beautiful outdoor living spaces featured in our May feature The Space Between, we went window shopping and found some great outdoor furniture and accessories to liven up your outdoor patio, porch and pool. Flip through the galleries below to see how you can add a pop of color and style to your outdoor hideaway.

more
6cac5c5a8c8ab233e90140848463bee7-d1026fbadb4e268d7fc0f385121f57a3.jpg

JUDE GALLIGAN

Hundreds of people are moving to Austin each day, and downtown is one of the major hubs of growth for the city. Local real estate expert Jude Galligan discusses smart urban growth and what to expect this year as the skyline continues to evolve.

Your blog keeps Austin updated on the latest news in downtown. What is the most exciting development happening right now?

From my point of view, the most exciting development is the Waller Creek District Master Plan. Decades in the making, this transformative project came to life after designers competed for the contract. It is finally coming to downtown, bringing an imaginative chain of parks,...

more
IMG_4713.jpg

As you flip through the pages of our February Love Issue, one thing you’ll notice is the beautiful blooms that pop up throughout the magazine. We got some major googly eyes for the bouquets featured in our "Real Weddings" features, and earmarked the TRIBEZA Wedding Guide for even more Pinterest-worthy petals.

Instead of letting all that inspiration go to waste, we tried our hand at flower arranging to see what we could create. Since we consider ourselves floral design novices, we asked a few top designers...

more