With the countless distractions cell phones offer (apps, texting, Internet — you can still make calls, right?), have we forgotten the people in the room?
We can find ourselves (or the people with us) interacting with the phone more than with family and friends. Smart phones are especially used unwisely in face-to-face settings. They seem to rob from the current relationships and give to the digital ones, in particular, through Facebook - updating your status, uploading photos from a trip and “checking in” wherever you are. But, hello, someone is standing right here.
It’s easier to realize how rude it is when you’re staring at the people with their heads down. But when you’re the one tapping away, it seems rather harmless. The person standing there is isolated while you’re involved in the World Wide Web. As with any fun electronic device, the phone has its place. And the extras can be helpful – looking up a restaurant phone number on the Internet or finding where you need to go by using the GPS.
But if you’re sharing quality time with a loved one, make that extra effort to be courteous. You can always upload that second or third or fiftieth picture to Facebook after your time with others.
The discipline can also apply when you’re out alone. This is more of a personal preference, but I enjoy embracing my surroundings and the experiences before me without being glued to my phone.
It can be tempting to update your location every time you set foot in a new city or let your friends see how amazing it is where you are. But if you succumb to these enticements you can really miss out on the beauty of God’s creation and the reflections and revelations He has in store for you.
Do you find yourself falling into the phone trap when you’re out with others? How can you use this new year to improve your phone etiquette?