We are programmed to get new things all the time. Better versions of phones, laptops, social media, even blockchain. More notifications, new memes, cat videos. We are actually expecting everything to get better, newer, and more exciting. And fast!
On the other hand, we are trying to keep meaningful, long-term relationships with our family members and friends. There, we have to slow down and take time for each other. Be genuine, kind and appreciating.
But isn't it hard to put down our phones during social meetings with others?
It happens to me a lot whether I want it or not.
I catch myself talking to my parents while I'm checking my phone. I still engage in conversation, I listen, I (think) am present. However, the phone is like a background music. I'm working on it but it has become a bad habit.
Another occasion is dinner with friends. At those times I'm the one bothered by phone presence. And my friends seem to disagree with me. I'm almost done trying to explain that we can talk for that short hour without phones and everyone can return to the shining screens when we will have no one around us.
This goes on and on. Just look around next time you eat out in a restaurant. Little kids are given ipads and phones so parents can enjoy a dinner in peace. Or so that they can spend time on their own phones. The place where children should be soaking in information on social gatherings, they are instead distracted by colorful screens. No wonder many grow up without any social skills and self-confidence. Not good qualities to get friends or even a job.
What about driving? I noticed yesterday in my rearview mirror a guy driving while checking his phone. He glanced at the road every now and then to see if the line is moving any faster. I was not comfortable. Didn't feel safe. And I know for sure he wasn't the only phone user around me there. There was probably more than half of drivers not paying attention to the road. Not a good sign!
But back to me and my bad habits. I'm still using my phone as an alarm to wake me up for work in the morning. Therefore, guess what's my first thing is when I wake up. I don't even need to say it out loud.
The one place where I strictly don't use my phone is my workplace. I keep my phone in the drawer in the office and don't use it for eight hours. I'm happy to do so. I'm also happy I don't have to use my cell phone for work purpose.
Now I'm not saying phones are not useful and they are a bad thing. They are very handy and make my life so much easier. What I'm trying to say with this post is that we use phones too much to fill our free time.
I'm against using phones while eating, studying, working, having a live conversation. Those kinds of activities deserve our full attention. Let this be a reminder to all of us. Including me.