Perhaps I shouldn't admit this, since I do get paid to watch and write about this show, but rarely am I impressed by The Big Bang Theory. Typically, it lacks substance like Sheldon lacks social interaction skills. But this episode was different.
Now, I'm not delusionally thinking that a new year will bring new improvement to the show. Yet, for one episode, Big Bang surprised and impressed me with a poignant yet comedic critique of modern social interaction.
The opening scene where everyone is having dinner together but on their phones is a problem plaguing modern society. The practice of being with someone without actually interacting with them is a plague on society. I'm a typical, technology-worshiping millennial, but something is horribly wrong when we can't put aside the virtual world and live in the actual one.
Sheldon is right that thanks to Steve Jobs we no longer have to interact with those around us but that doesn't mean we should stop interacting with them.
Think about what it says to a person (or group) that you are with when you are constantly on your phone or tablet instead of investing in him/them. It's basically saying your own world is more important/rewarding/fulfilling than what other real people bring to the table.
I've experienced both ends of this spectrum – being ignored and being the ignorer. While in the moment the later is harder to recognize than the former, neither practice is as satisfying as investing in your fellow flesh and blood companions.
Of course, sometimes interacting with those around us goes poorly, as Leonard proves later in the episode. But hey, you know what they say, it's better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all. Amiright, Leonard?