On a recent June morning, Peter and I walked around the Fresh Pond Reservoir for the first time since we returned to Cambridge. A stone’s throw from our former home, we have spent countless hours walking there. (In truth, when we moved to Cambridge in 1995, we spent countless hours running there, but that was then.)
There have been some wonderful improvements made to the surrounding park over the years, and it was great to see that it continues to get a lot of attention. What it doesn’t get is a lot of appreciation from the people who use it. Almost everyone who was walking or running alone was on a cellphone. Maybe they were listening to a favorite podcast or catching up with a friend, but what they weren’t doing was enjoying where they were.
Don’t get me wrong. I rely on my cellphone. I wouldn’t give it up. But I like to say “Hi” to people while I’m waiting for elevators or at bus stops. I like to smile at the stranger sitting next to me at the theater.
That’s hard to do when they are glued to their phones.