Living In Your Own Private Idaho

funny-girl-selfie-sharkEvery day I experience people living in their own Private Idaho, however; twice in the last week the experience caused me to stop and stare.

The first incident occurred in a quiet hospital waiting area – a woman was watching a movie on her IPad, her volume turned up loud enough to be heard across the room. The second occurrence was waiting at the deli counter. While waiting for my order, a man came to the counter pushing his cart which included an infant child. At first he was making goo-goo noises at his daughter – somewhat cute if not a little annoying, however; he then pulled out his phone and started watching some video. I don’t know if it was a video from a friend or some you tube video; what I do know is that it was loud and contained a lot of “f-bombs”.

When he first started watching the video I would turn occasionally to give him “the look”. You know the one. It says “uh dude, you are in the middle of Target and no one really wants to hear your video”. Then, when the f-bombs started flying I gave him the prudish “hello – there are small children and elderly people hearing your foul-mouthed video” look. When that didn’t even accomplish any acknowledgement I stare straight at him for a good 3 minutes. It wasn’t till his infant daughter gave a screech did he look up and then did something that almost made me drop and f-bomb – he SHUSHED his daughter while giving me an apologetic look. WTF?!!! (Sorry couldn’t resist the irony)

Technology connects us to others like utilizing Skype to chat with family far away or Facebook re-connecting us with friends that we otherwise would lose touch with.

However; in a selfie focused world it can also create a Private Idaho where we forget that there are REAL LIVE people around us where we live, work and shop.

We are all guilty of the occasional Private Idaho stopover, talking on our cell phones at the check-out. Posting our status while talking to a friend or texting our spouse while in line at the bank to let them know we will be home soon. However; it can easily accelerate into a self-consumed lifestyle.

Are you living in your own Private Idaho?

  • When was the last time you looked in the eyes of the clerk checking you out at the grocery store – better yet called them by name (FYI most wear a name-tag).
  • Do you feel the need to “check-in” on a social media site everywhere you go or while out with friends?
  • Have you recently gone out with friends and not felt the desire to post some crazy photo of your experience as if everyone in your social media world needs to see exactly what you are doing exactly when you are doing it?

Today – LOOK UP! Take note of REAL LIVE PEOPLE. Put your phone away (better yet turn it off). Say hello to the server at the restaurant, ask the check-out person how their day is going and call them by name. Smile at random people. You’ll be amazed at what you will experience once you step outside the boundaries of your Private Idaho.

B 52's - Private Idaho

About Sue Salach

Sue has a Master's degree in Gerontology and has worked with the elderly and their families for over 30 years and is the Author of "Along Comes Grandpa", a caregiving resource guide, and the novel "If I Walked in Her Shoes". As an ElderCare Expert and Keynote Speaker, Sue employs her comprehensive experience and passion, to educate and promote self-care values to family caregivers and the community at large.
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