From the miscellaneous drawer - Baskets ready?

by Echo publisher Anne Swenson

Over the past weekend, there were visits from family and friends. It’s the end of the summer season, leaves have turned to bright colors and the snowbirds, both avian and human are on their way to winter grounds.
Some will be back for Thanksgiving or Christmas visits and here’s a suggestion to make those and all visits even more memorable at your house: Keep a small basket by the front door.
As visitors arrive, explain the necessity to deposit therein all electronic devices, especially ubiquitous flat screen phones. Homeowners’ phones should go in too.
Why?
Here’s something to think about: You’re with family or friends that you don’t see often and the conversation is interesting. You’re conversing, exchanging information. Then one supposed listener takes out a phone and starts tapping it, fiddling with it, stops paying attention, perhaps even walking away from the group.
How does the person speaking or part of the group sense the situation?
The phone user is obviously distracted and his/her phone connection is of more importance to him/her than the actual humans in the room. It’s a snub to the group and the speaker, and gives the sense or perception that the non-listener is displaying their self belief in their self importance.
In other words: “This connection to the ‘real’ world is more important than connecting to the humans - family and friends - now around me.”
But there’s another conclusion to also be considered - some folks may not have confidence in themselves, that they will be included in the conversation. By walking away, have they, unwittingly, via technology, contributed to their own isolation?
So reach out to the quiet ones and get those baskets ready. Make time for family and friends to truly communicate face to face, not face to phone. You may find out that those present are very nice, intelligent and likeable people with stories to tell.
* * *
As for me, my weekend visits from family and friends were heart warming. With one couple with whom I connected, we had a shared adventure before they are leaving for the winter.
With a family trio, we shared a youngster growing up and becoming a reflection of her loving parents.
And with a soon-on-her-way away friend, we shared our views on family histories and experiences, getting to know each other better as friends.
And nobody, not one person, stopped to use a phone to connect to a world other than the real one in which we were engaged.
Thank you Sue, Lowell, Jake, Kyah, Kinlee and Marie. What a treat!
* * *
In the Ely Echo for October 3, 1988, 30 years ago, the headlines were:
• City get $400,000 boost from IRRRB for ailing water plant;
• Precious metal distribution found in Lake County test site;
• Tomé named Ely deputy registrar;
• School superintendent carries school business burden;
• Feature: Johnson family continues forty year logging business;
• Zabinski takes championship in ballroom dance competition.