It's a sight that has become increasingly common at makan places all over the country; A group of friends sat around a table, but none of them are talking to one another. Are they carrying out a psychic conversation? No, it's just that everyone is pre-occupied with their phones or tablets, instead of paying attention to each other.
I was hanging out at this cafe last Sunday, having a short rest after a fruitful Mustafa Centre shopping run. While enjoying a mango smoothie and a light snack, I scanned the place. It was your typical Sunday crowd -- families with kids and grandparents in tow, couples, and groups of friends enjoying a lazy weekend lunch together. Pretty boring stuff.
There was this couple in their mid-20s whom I noticed walking in. They seemed pretty chatty, especially while poring over the menu. But after the waitress left, you'd have thought the two were complete strangers! Each of them had their phone out, and was just staring zombie-like at the tiny screen, totally ignoring their partner. I couldn't help but stare at the two because they seemed really engrossed in swiping and sliding on their phones instead of wanting to converse with each other. It just wasn't right.
I admit that I've probably been guilty of this same behaviour before, but I now realise that it's pretty rude. I know the lure of checking updates on Twitter or Facebook can be hard to resist, and there's always that "it's for work" excuse to fall back on, but let's face it, it's all just excuses. For those of us who are more connected online than others, it can be a tough call, but I've been trying to keep my phone in my pocket when I'm out with friends. After all, it's ironic to be checking on your online social networks when you're being anti-social to your friends in real life.