At a lecture, presentation, orientation, whatever, quietly speed tapping notes into a word-processing app on my phone. The speaker, or doctor, or professor mentions a book, an author, a seminal work, that heavily influenced whatever. Google search the title and bookmark for review, just as the powerpoint changes to a quote, some long dead genius gushing over the value of education, or art, or poetry, or whatever—not a bad quote. So, tweet, and back to notes, to the next slide, to bullet-points, but a text interrupts—Twitter, DM:
“Hi! I want to make a donation to your blog. I love it! Is there a donation link you can send me?”
Copy link. Paste. Reply:
”Thank you so much! And thank you for reading!”
Bullet-points copied, another book mentioned, another author even more groundbreaking in the study of whatever.
Google search, book found, and, what’s this?—a lecture series given by the author, recorded at Yale, uploaded to YouTube, bookmarked for after dinner. Word.
Three more slides. One more quote. Not as good. Not worth a tweet.
“And we’re done.” Exhale. “Thank you for coming. Enjoy your lunch. Thank you. Thank you.”
On the way to the buffet table, a text from gmail—Paypal donation received. Notes synched, bookmarks synched—saved to my computer at home. Thank you, cloud.
And when I finally sit down with my colleagues, ready to relax, ready to eat my complimentary lunch, someone almost always blurts out something like this:
“I know this is none of my business,” they start off so strong, “but I think it was very rude of you to spend that entire presentation playing on your phone.”