1. What are you reading?
2. What are you doing?
Now I'll put them in context:
1. I am reading a book or my Kindle. I am trying to stay in the story which means that I need to mentally block out what is happening around me.
What are you reading?
Clearly, I am no longer reading because my concentration is blown and I am answering the question. Now I am reading nothing.
2. I am on the computer when I am asked, "What are you doing?"
Seriously? You want to know what I am doing? This one irritates me because I am not merely paying my bills on Bill Pay. While my pages load I am also:
- Checking my email
- Responding to an email
- Checking the children's grades
- Now emailing a teacher
- Checking ratings on a book
- Forgetting my bank password so I look it up in my documents
- Check my work email
- Register for a conference
- Writing a blog post.
- Stalk my favorite blogs until my stalkees are creeped out.
- Ordering the Deal of the Day
- Paying my credit card
- Putting a charge into dispute
- Looking up my paycheck
- Listening to music
- Scheduling SEOP's for the kids.
How long would it take to answer that one inane question? I know the asker is not really interested in what I am doing but making conversation. How about asking me to quote an entire Shakespeare sonnet? Or better, tell me what it is you REALLY want. Those four words, formed in question form, will result in a ten minute explanation at which time I will lose my flow and lose track of 75% of what I was doing. The credit card will not get paid. My friends will not get stalked. I won't schedule SEOP's thus I will forget to even go to them. I still won't know how much tithing to pay because I don't know how much I earned this month. I still didn't contact the teacher to explain why my child was late or absent and excuse it thus resulting in a grade dock.
Am I goofing off? Probably. But only between page loads. Want to guarantee I won't order your Christmas presents? Ask me what I'm doing. Go ahead. Ask.
What are you doing?