Are You Paying Attention To Me?
We all have cell phones. They are our constant companions. We carry them with us more than our wallets or keys, and we quite possibly spend more time with them than our spouse or children.
Why do we have to ALWAYS have these things with us? Are we that important that we can't miss a call when we are going to the bathroom, or talking to our grandma, or listening to our 8 year old tell us about his day?
Seriously- we need to stop and think about this for a minute.
We got Anya a cell phone this year. Everything about me HATED doing this, but we needed to have a way to get in contact with her if she was home alone or we needed to make a schedule change mid-day when she was in school. Since landlines are a thing of the past, this was the only option. Over the past few months she has been on it, more and more and more. Now we have to tell her to leave it downstairs or it becomes a battle.
But, it is not just kids that can't resist the pull of the phone abyss.
I can't tell you how many times I have been mid-sentence speaking to an adult about something semi-important and they check their phone or their watch. It infuriates me and I instantly feel less important than whatever that ding was on their device. I have told people eating dinner with me to put their phones down, and I have definitely had words with Myles when I tell him something and then he has absolutely no idea what I said because he wasn't paying attention.
How did we get here and how can we dig our way out?
I think we need to start seeing ourselves for what we have become and trying a little harder to engage in face to face contact again since we can now. Covid isolation has driven us even further into this "phone adoration" then we even realize.
I miss the good ol' days, when we could eat dinner, or go for a walk, or have a conversation in a car without having the other person peeking at their screen.
I'm not suggesting we all throw our phones away or detox from them for days on end, but I do think that disconnecting yourself from them for bits of time would be beneficial for your relationships with just about everyone in your life.
I read an excellent article by Precision Nutrition this week. It helps direct you on how to change your phone use from a "time suck/distraction" method to using it more as a health and relationship tool. It's not that the phones are "bad" or "unhealthy" it is our BEHAVIOR with the phones that is bad and unhealthy.
I just hope this gets all of you to stop and think about what your phone use looks like. How do others in your life view it? Are you semi-addicted to the device? Can you leave it behind and go for a walk or turn it on airplane mode when you are having a conversation with a loved one?
Maybe this blog post can be a way for you to open up a conversation with someone you care about about their phone use and your concern or frustration?
I want us all to be present with one another, since we have spent so much time apart and in our own little bubbles these past two years. I want to connect with people and feel like they are listening to me, and I'm pretty sure you want someone to listen to you too.
And if you are talking to me, you better believe I will call you out if you decide to check your phone! :)