A few weeks ago, I was shocked as I watched my only sibling graduate from college.
I mean, I wasn’t surprised that he graduated.
But perhaps the phenomenon that surprised me shouldn’t have.
In the audience, we could hear chatter coming from the graduates, uniform in their black gowns and caps. But they weren’t talking to each other about college memories or about what they expected Barack Obama or their chosen professor to speak about. They were talking to the audience members via cell phones.
Pictured above: Michael (right) talks on cell phone while waving, next to his friends Eric (left) and Matt.
Both at the large university graduation and at the smaller school convocation, friends and family members waved to their graduates as they walked out (with pomp and with circumstance) as if they were leaving on the Titanic (it really is a sink-or-swim market for the grads!). They were waving like the parents used to wave to us pre-schoolers at my day camp talent show. “Hi, honey! I see you! You look great out there!”
And the graduates were just as happy to wave back. “Hi, Mom! Hi, Dad! Thanks for paying the tuition bills!”
Many of the grads also had cameras with them, naturally, to take pictures of one another during the ceremony. Michael, however, used it as an opportunity to take pictures of us.
Eric, here, is on the phone and waving while Michael takes our picture taking his picture.
First of all, where are the grads hiding these gadgets? Last I wore a graduation gown, I had no pockets, nor did I bring a purse with me. Second, why even bring the phone? Who else would call you besides your friends (sitting right next to you) or your family (sitting in the bleachers)? And if it was anyone else, would you really answer it? “Hi, I’m graduating right now, yes? No, I would NOT like to get a Discover card!”
What will we see next?
Will we call our journalist friend on television and have him wave to us on camera?
Will we call our dancing friend and tell her to wave, take our picture, and leap a little more gracefully?
Will we go to the symphony and give the oboe player a call and tell him he’s a little flat? Nahhh, even that wouldn’t help.