A couple of summers ago I found myself irritated by a teenage girl lying beside a stone bridge along the Llangollen Canal, face stuffed in her cellphone. But why?
I’m sure I projected onto her the irritation I feel by noticing people everywhere chained to their electronic devices. And it seemed a certain indignity that she would ignore such light, air, and tranquil beauty for the sake of mindless texting.
But isn’t it funny that I would approve of this same girl ignoring her environment by burying her face in a book? And I’d certainly think it lovely to see her absorbed in conversation with a friend.
What’s more, if the girl were a local it’s understandable that she’d become inured to the scenery. It often takes the eyes of a stranger to point out the beauty in the places we live. And she was, after all, a teenager.
Whatever the case, she got under my skin. I suspect I felt her rude for disturbing my fleeting unplugged peace, the sight of the cellphone jarring like a noisy muffler on a sleepy Sunday morning.
But this kind of retrospective analysis is mere guesswork. I just wonder why nearly two years on and being surrounded by cell phones wherever I go, this particular incident still rankles.