I had the opportunity to tour Warner Bros in California this past summer. One of the stops was the mothballed set of the TV show Friends. Not being a fan of the show, I could have cared if I sat on the infamous orange couch, only to have my picture taken to be tweeted out to the world. I guess for the fan of the show, it was a huge deal.
There has been a shift of the coffee shop culture since Friends. Today I saw first hand that shift. Trying to find God in everything is forcing me to be more aware of my surroundings. As I walked into the local coffee shop today, the only noise was the stream coming from the espresso machine. I counted 35 people in the shop. Half of them sitting alone, ear phones in, focused on the LCD screens. Others sitting together, not engaged in conversation, but their digital obsession. The coffee shop, once a place for socialization is now a shared workplace of isolation.
“You have to disconnect in order to connect” states Fr. James Martin in his book” The Jesuit Guide to Almost Everything”.
Leaving with my hot coffee in hand, a table to my left was occupied by six engaged folks. Engaged with each other laughing and sharing whatever was on their mind. This vision brought me back to that orange couch in California. Imagine if Central Perk was filled with the characters I witnessed today? Friends would have been a silent movie.