So I really don't like McDonalds.
Everytime I end up eating there I feel like I've sabotaged my general well-being. I mean their menu barely passes for food.
On the other hand, because of our growing family size and the invention of the McDonald's Playland, it has become one of the simplest and most relaxing places we can take our children. We can hardly resist the call of the Playland when we find ourselves in Springfield. The kids play, we drink overpriced coffee, all are happy.
But recently we had our first "bad" Playplace experience. We couldn't quite put our fingers on it, but something just wasn't right. There was a disturbance in the McForce.
Maybe it was the large & loud group of boys who were throwing their six pound monster truck toys high into the air so they crashed into toddlers heads.
Maybe it was the fact that there was grease and trash on EVERY table and seat in the place.
But I think the blame rested with the group of three young parents who sat just two tables away.
You immediately noticed them when you entered because they didn't seem to quite fit. They were in their mid to late twenties, well-dressed, fashionable hair and shoes. They had on coats they obviously didn't get from Wal-Mart or the Goodwill.
But it was none of these things that really caught my attention. It was their intent focus.
No. It wasn't on watching their children. I'm not even convinced they had children in the Playplace.
It wasn't how interested they were in passionate conversation with each other.
Actually quite the opposite.
It was their unswerving attention to their cell phones. Each of them were furiously tapping the buttons of their QWERTY pads, hunched in their chair, furrowing their brow in what can only be described as nervous concentration.
And they stayed that way.
For at least twenty minutes.
Not a look up at each other or anyone else.
Not a word to one another.
The one time I saw a small child come over and try to ask a question, they all seemed to not hear or notice.
And it was at this point that we decided to leave.
Our bastion of rest and jovial conversation was tainted by this totally antisocial behavior.
So it left me with these questions:
How do we fight this antisocial plague masquerading as "social networking"?
How do we bring back face-to-face conversation and quiet rhythms to our lives?
Should we try to reclaim the McDonald's PlayPlace or is it too far gone?
Look forward to your thoughts!
4 hours ago