While this may not be popular to say, I have to say something.
I’m not big on smartphones, nor candidly, the biggest smartphone user. I don’t text all that often and can’t stand it when I receive one- or two-word texts or even four texts to convey something that could have sent as a single text. And don’t even get me started on the emoji only texts.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not opposed to cell phones, in fact, sometimes there’s nothing more I enjoy than calling up a friend and catching up on the fly. But… I primarily prefer to use the phone to call people, not to do the myriad of other things that you can do with it. Perhaps I’m missing out, but I’m not inclined to think so.
Lately, I’m finding that more and more of my friends and colleagues are big cell and smartphone users and are constantly using/looking at their phones. Instead of calling, they’ll text me. My biggest pet peeve is that many people I spend time with can’t seem to stop looking at their phone, even when it’s two of us sitting at a table. I can’t help but have mixed emotions about it.
These can range from, being a little insecure – “Don’t they like me enough?” or “Are they experiencing FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)?”
Worried? “Is an urgent text or call due from family about a critical issue that needs attention.” Is there something I should be doing to help?
I also can’t help but feel a little
discouraged offended too. I thought this was “us” time, but I seem to be competing for their attention.
I’d like to think that when you are meeting with a friend, colleague, or even family member that you appreciate and value your time together, so much so that all off your attention is focused on the person sitting across from/next to you. But as a society and in business, we seem to be going in a direction that says we need to be connected at all times, so we’d better not put the phone down for any extended period of time. I know some who even feel like a body part is missing if they don’t have/aren’t looking at their phone.
I think life would be enjoyed so much more deeply by simply disconnecting once in a while. At the minimum if this seems completely unreasonable, do it at least when you’re spending time with someone else one-on-one.
I get it. The ability to post that stunning sunset or recipe onto your Instagram account or keep watch for an urgent email is great, and I love that too. I also appreciate the ability to send a quick confirmation text if you have bad cell reception or absolutely can’t take a moment to pick up. (Although don’t get me started on texting and driving – the dumbest thing you can ever do.) However, by putting down the phone and focusing 100% of your attention of the person/people with you and being in the moment could lead to deeper relationships (work and otherwise) and friendships.
You’ll likely to not only enjoy your time with her/him/them more, but it will also make the other person/people feel appreciated, valued, and special. And who doesn’t want to feel that way?
I know this post/opinion may draw negative feedback/comments from a lot of avid smartphone users to “get with the times,” but really… I kind of think I’m the luckier one here. Disconnecting for me is easy. I don’t have to look at or even have my phone with me at all times. (Yes it’s good to have in case of an emergency.) But without the need to look at it 24/7, I’m able to more readily live in the moment, be more productive, appreciate and make the most of the time I have with someone I’m spending my time with, and for me, enjoy life more.
Oh one other thing… Please stop telling me, “Get with the times/program”, “You’re too “old school”” , “Something’s wrong with you”, or That I have a problem since everyone does it so I should just accept it.” I don’t have to accept it, this works for me, and candidly these comments are rude.