What to do when a cellphone matters more than you
You’re with a friend, describing what has been the worst day ever only to look up and fine them on their phone checking whatsapp, facebook, twitter or instagram. Is he or she just a #suckyfriend or has technology consumed our lives so much that the only way we know how to socialize is through a screen in the palm of our hands? It’s not that we don’t mind the occasional check in on social. It’s just that real relationships need human connections and sometimes, the worst thing we could do to someone is to choose a beep or a ring over them. Here’s what you could do if you find yourself in a situation where a cellphone matters more than you.
Set boundaries (especially if you have kids or a partner)
If you’re spending time with the girls or guys, having people over, doing an activity with your kids or having date night, mobile devices should either be switched off or left out of sight for the time you will be busy. The latest celebrity post, email, text message or tweet can really wait. Be attentive to the people who are actually with you rather than the ones you’re following and will probably never be in contact with in a real life situation.
Set consequences (and make them very expensive)
Most times, telling someone they you don’t like that they’re on the phone when they’re with you works. Sometimes though, you need to play a little hardball. There’s no need to threaten throwing phones down the toilet. Set up fun and expensive consequences instead. For example, if it’s date night, set the rule that whoever touches their phone first pays for the entire date. Another one could be that whoever touches the phone first buys the other a gift of their choice or does the dishes for a year. Be creative and have fun.
Challenge yourself and your friends to a phone free day
Barring using the phone for emergencies, set a day where you and the family, you and your partner or you and your group of friends do a day without phones and electronic devices. It might surprise you that we don’t need them as much as we think we do and could open you up to other interesting ways of experiencing life other than through a screen. (P.S. If people are going to think you died because you’re not answering your phone, set your facebook or twitter status and let them know you’re phoneless for the day. Then put the phone down and slowly walk away!)
Try talking and stop chatting
Instant messaging is quick and easy. It doesn’t even take much effort bcoz ppl write mssgs lyk dis. It is however a very easy way to lose contact with what it feels like to have a real conversation with someone. How often do you call your friends instead of instant message them? Isn’t the sound of laughter better than LOL or LMAO? We miss so many moments this way, so the next time you’re tempted to chat, rather talk.
Have you ever wanted to break someone’s phone or wish they’d just stop with it already?
Share your stories.
Keen for more digital etiquette? Read Dating in the Digital Age series here