Sunday, June 9, 2013

A Sweet Story

So tonight I went down to Mukilteo Beach to enjoy the sunset. There were at least a hundred other people there with me, happily talking, laughing, boating, skipping rocks, wading, or otherwise enjoying our naturally beautiful waterfront. 

And then there was me. Sitting down in the middle of the dock, hunched over my phone, I cared about nothing but beating my level in the game, Candy Crush. 

I know. I was the embodiment of every ugly thing that digital technology can do to a person. 

I'll pause for a moment so you can judge me. Go ahead. It's fine. I deserve it. 

But now hear me out, because there's more to the story. 

As I sat there in my gaming coma, oblivious to the world, I suddenly heard a voice coming from behind me. 

"Candy Crush? That's such a great game!"

Wait, what?? Are you talking to me?

I looked up in time to catch the eye of the speaker. He was a thirty-ish man with two thirty-ish friends, each walking a dog on a leash, carefully stepping past me on the narrow dock as they headed to the far end. Our eyes met in a flash of understanding and camaraderie; we both smiled. Then he continued on his way and I went back to my game. 

And while it's probably true that my dumb game robbed me of the natural beauty of the sunset, muted the pleasures of a visit to the beach, limited my physical exercise, and alienated me from enjoying the company of my companions, it's also true that Candy Crush connected me to another human being, and a kindred spirit, to boot. 

I think that's sweet. 

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