As I walk to my office I am surrounded by students using their phones as they walk. Their head bent, I only see their foreheads. I call them the forehead generation. I can tell which students have bad diets due to the spotty visage. They know not how to smile and say good morning. It has become taboo to say hello. They are focused on the silent disucssion they are having with their phone. The are sometimes careless about where they step. They are sometimes surprised to bump (literally) into a friend - and the presence of the phone is muted. I know the students are not cold at heart nor are they slow to smile. They will always hold a door open for another person. They are welcoming and engaging.
The forehead generation is missing out on something special. A welcoming smile from a stranger, a hello how are you from a someone I kind of recognize, a comment on how bad the weather is from a fellow student, an opportunity to connect with a person who may be in their class but with whom they haven't spoken to yet.
The forehead generation is missing out on creating a welcome for others. For a student who is living here and is immersed in their 2nd language, it is indeed daunting to hear foreign words all time. A welcoming environment makes all the difference.
Don't walk and text is certainly good advice.
Walking tall, looking up with a smile, greeting the world, catching strangers eyes and saying hello is advice for the forehead generation to text to each other.