In this day and age cell phones have become almost part of a person’s body. I can say I’m guilty of this in many ways. I almost always have my phone on my body, whether its connected to my hand or ear or in my back pocket. On a rare occasion I will leave it in my purse, but even then its on. Unless it is out of battery it’s on. How horribly sad is that? Why is it that I, like most other people I know, feel that I’m so important that I need to be accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week regardless as to if I’m at work, out for a run, sleeping, or the worst of them all – at a social engagement with other people. Though I will admit that sometimes I think it’s necessary, for instance if you are waiting for people to meet up with you and you’re expecting a call or text for directions, but 9 times out of 1o this is not the case. It’s sooo important to know when to put the phone down, but I can guarantee that you all know “that guy” that just can’t catch the clue.
Personally, one of my biggest pet peeves in the world (seriously – I think it is so incredibly rude that it actually makes me want to rip my hair out) is when you’re hanging out with someone, especially when you’re one-on-one, and they can’t seem to take their phone out of their hand. Why do you keep checking your phone? Are you waiting to hear if you got approved for the heart transplant or if your doctoral dissertation got approved? Probably not. For example, you meet a friend out for dinner and they put their phone on the table at the restaurant. Are you waiting for a call? Are you trying to talk to someone? Last time I checked you made plans with me, so if you really find it necessary to check Facebook, Instagram, Four Square, Twitter, your text messages, or whatever the hell else you are doing on your phone, please just let me know. I’d rather actually eat alone, than basically eat alone anyways waiting for you to look up from your phone and, you know, engage in actual conversation with the actual person who is sitting across the table from you.
Psychologists who conducted the experiments at Essex University believe mobile phones automatically trigger thoughts about wider social networks, reducing the level of empathy and understanding in face-to-face conversations. I can 100% agree with this. Based upon my own personal experiences, even just seeing that phone out of the table triggers an immediate feeling of annoyance and makes me feel like the person across the table from you thinks you’re “ok”, but not great enough to give you their full attention. It honestly has affected some of my relationships and as a result I choose not to hang out with those people unless I can mentally prepare myself for their blatant rudeness. Just some food for thought. I’m sure I’m not the only person who feels this way, so next time you’re out with a friend or two keep in mind who you’d really like to hang out with – your friend or your phone – the choice is yours.