Happy Friday, stay warm this weekend!
It seems that everywhere I go; people are on their cellphones, tablets, laptops, or other electronic device. It can be hard to pay attention to what’s going on around you when your eyes are constantly stuck to a screen. I have watched people walk into traffic, because they are distracted by their cell phones. People lose sleep because they are too interested in what is going on in the digital world. I have heard it several times that social contact is turning from face to face to digital, but there’s a lack of connection.
I admit, I almost always have my cellphone on me and I spend more time on it that I should. However, it is important to remember that life goes on outside of whatever screen you’re focusing on. My Husband and I started a habit of when we go to restaurants we have to put our phones on silent and set them aside so we interact with each other and the wait staff. We also set aside time each day to have a conversation without electronic devices present.
It’s easy to get distracted by social media, YouTube, and other articles. However, people you care about begin to feel ignored or unimportant when you are always paying attention to your phone or tablet and not engaged in the conversation. Don’t get me wrong, I think that social media and the internet have made it easier to stay in contact with people who are far away or you lost contact with. Though, it seems that it also pushes people away that are nearby and present in the here and now.
If you feel like someone is ignoring you in order to pay attention to an electronic device, say something. Explain what you are feeling and how you might prefer the situation to be. You can’t control people, but if they don’t know that there is a problem, how are they to know something needs to change. You can set boundaries in certain situations: time limits, no device zones, phone-stacking, etc. This idea works both ways, if you expect people to pay attention and engage when interacting with you, then you need to show similar respect, put away your device and have a real conversation.
Read the following article for ideas on how to confront people who pay more attention to their phone than their surroundings: https://www.vitalsmarts.com/crucialskills/2014/03/crucial-applications-digital-divisiveness/