Observational Journalism.

A recent article in the New York Times Magazine caught my eye.  Written by a journalist, he encourages each of us to look around ourselves, recording everything we notice, including the people, sounds, smells, noises and screens.   In other words: wake up, smell the roses, and write it down.

On a recent trip to the eye doctor, I decided to forgo my usual crossword puzzle and focus on my surroundings.  I became aware that the television in the waiting room was and always has been, according to my recollection, tuned to a home improvement show.  Nothing new or noteworthy there.  But, by avoiding the news channels, I think I can safely note that the office chooses to be apolitical. That’s all good.

The second thing I observed was that all those in the waiting room had their faces buried deep in their phones.  Nothing new or notable there, either.  It’s just who we are and what we do these days.  No rose-smelling there.  Sadly.

Eventually, we were each called back for our examinations. 

After my exam but prior to my meeting with the doctor, I was taken to another room.  I determined that the people in this room were the same people who’d been in the waiting room with me earlier.  But this time not a single person had his or her face in their phones. 

Of course, they didn’t.  They couldn’t see.   Dilation does that to a person.

Alas, my observational adventure also ended abruptly because, of course, I couldn’t see either.