October 21, 2012

Coffee Break ?

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Written by: Nydia O
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It is very interesting to walk into a Starbucks coffee shop and see how everybody is so engaged in their own little world. I recently met there with a friend at 2:30 in the afternoon and noticed how most of patrons were “hooked” up to a laptop computer. Others were reading newspapers and very few of us were conversing.  Not without ignoring the fact that most of the people with laptops were likely connected with somebody else via web, and even possibly having a conversation on line is that I make these observations.

There is so much information out there, it “hits”us from everywhere; internet, magazines, newspapers, TV, smart phones, billboards, radio….. It is absolutely overwhelming! When are we going to know enough? Or will we ever? But the most important question to me is; do we have to know this much? Is it imperative for me to know what would Princess Catherine be wearing during her visit to the USA? Or  who are the world’s wealthiest people, the most beautiful, what are scientists doing to discover a cure for cancer, how celebrities are losing weight, what are the best shows on TV, what is Oprah up to now, global warming, what is the USA doing about Pakistan, Syria? Should the troops be back? What about oil, what is the price per barrel today? What books are out, which ones made it to the New York Times best seller list, the newest smart phone applications, the war on drugs, local politics, local weather, conservation…….the list can go on forever, literally. We have an information overload because of technology, is this working for us?

Have European and Latin American countries morphed into this as well? Have they given up the conversations over coffee and the long meals shared with family and friends?  Lunch times are getting shorter and coffee breaks are not breaks, they are more like strategy meetings where we have to be engaged in doing something other than conversing or feel out of place. Just stop and let the day go by is not that easy anymore, guilty thoughts of idleness come to mind; we can’t have that.

Technology has become the center of our lives, it is wonderful to have all the resources for learning and communicating but shouldn’t we be aware of the distance it creates? And shouldn’t we work on balancing our lives? The catch? It takes a huge effort to do, and most importantly it requires the intention of wanting to do it for which it is necessary to know why it is important to do it.  Related data gets lost amongst the sea of information, and chances are we will miss it, dazzled by the looks of the new IPAD or our smart phones’ apps. It is very likely that we will miss it, that we will never have the time to think thoroughly about it because we have to think about many other things.

We have even given up phone conversations and replaced them with texting, because it eliminates all the social formalities of hello’s and goodbyes; there is no time for that either. We need the time to follow our 400 friends on Facebook, what are they up to, who’s traveling? Who ended a relationship, who is a new grandma or who has a new significant other; maybe there’s an app for that. I guess it’s time for another Starbucks “break”, double up on caffeine please.


Photo of Lupe Gonzales enjoying Kahlua coffee on the beach in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico while watching the sun go down….now, that’s a break! Share your favorite coffee breaks with us.

Puerto Vallarta sunset

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About the Author

Nydia O
A bird does not sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.-Maya Angelou. La Vida Valle is where I write about "la vida" my life in the Rio Grande Valley. From this bi-cultural corner on the tip of Texas, I share my poems and my spiritual and travel experiences. I also blog about the arts, nature and my passion for historic preservation and architecture. But most importantly, let's talk about "la vida" - living our lives - in a vacation state of mind. Contributions and comments are always welcome .


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