While in Washington, DC we visited a few of the tourist attractions and were very impressed with the Native American Museum. After getting a snack in the cafeteria, I was standing in the entryway when I noticed a group of what appeared to be middle schoolers on a field trip who were waiting for the rest of their group to finish their tour. While this should not be taken as an indictment of all middle schoolers, I have found most of them to be about as stable as a wagon load of nitroglycerin jostling down a rocky mountain road on a hot day. Since a lot of their outbursts are frequently directed at peers, I watched the group with great interest and not just a little anticipation.
What I saw turned out to be more interesting than the typical high-speed emotional come apart. They barely interacted with each other at all. Each person was riveted to whatever was happening on their handheld device. While they were all present in the same physical space, they may as well have been on different planets. With no evidence to support they were texting each other, it did not appear there was any interpersonal connection at all.
I just thought this was a great image for where we are headed as a society. We are connected and we are interacting. Just not with each other. We are together apart.