I know Japan is not the only place that this happens, but I see it so often I have to comment.
This blog post was inspired by actual events, in that my wife, daughter and I went out to eat at a sushi restaurant one night. We had to wait for a table to become available and so sat in the large waiting area.
All around us there were mothers and fathers with children, and with the exception of my wife and an elderly woman with her husband next to us, all of the women had cell phones in their hands and were stroking them. Their children spoke, played with other children, fought, but were totally ignored by the mothers. It was like watching group of strung out druggies who are so blitzed they couldn’t care less what their children were doing. Worse was that some children also has phones and were doing the same thing.
Maybe I am old fashioned. Maybe family matters to me, even in a restaurant-or maybe especially in a restaurant. It should be a special event to go out. Instead all I saw, even if not meant, was neglect on the part of the mothers. Father’s seem less likely to be sucked into the smart phone habit. This is unless they are playing a game, and I am not defending men here or showing sexism, just an observation. Men even are more likely to share their phones than women I have definitely noticed.
I am not entirely against smart phones, but I have refused to have one myself. I would rather read a book, talk to a family member or observe the world. As a writer observation is the most important thing in ones arsenal, you have to pay attention and learn.
So it’s too bad that screen mamas exist. That people aren’t paying attention to their children who will only be young once. Isn’t that the point? They will be grown up and what will those women remember? A screen selling face cream or a video of a cat yawning? Pay attention to your kids. Please, because I am watching you.