I was walking through the parking lot at Surrey Center when something happened that has become a common occurrence over the past few years.
I had finished my cup of coffee from a coffee shop, and I was walking to my car when someone beside me said, "Hello." I will admit, I was a little surprised by her greeting, mostly because I had no idea who she was, but in the spirit of being friendly I gave this woman a huge smile, a wave and a hearty "Hi, how are you doing?" I was expecting an answer of some sort.
As it turns out, the woman wasn't talking to me after all. Instead, she was having her own conversation on a Bluetooth telephone headset. When I said "hello" to her, she simply looked at me as though I were a raving lunatic. She proceeded to tell whomever she was talking to that a crazy man was trying to hit on her, and all the while I was simply trying to walk to my car after a nice cup of coffee.
I am tired of Bluetooth headsets! We live in a community where human interaction already has dwindled to a minimum. The last thing we need in our lives is another device that allows us to avoid genuine human contact, even if it is a "hello" on the street. Keeping a cell phone in your ear at all times is an annoyance to everyone around you. But more importantly, it robs you of the chance to meet someone new in the course of daily life.
I will never own a Bluetooth headset, and it is my hope that just a few readers will take a chance and take off their Bluetooth and say "hello" to a stranger the next time they get a chance. If you won't do it to meet a new friend, at least try it to keep from embarrassing an innocent bystander.
(The writer is pastor of Grovetown United Methodist Church.)