Enough is enough!! The time has come for cell phone etiquette.
We have all experienced being in a group, in a meeting, in a family setting and suddenly being ignored when a person in our group, blatantly checks his or her phone. Most of us have experienced this type of snub – and it is not a nice feeling. We have seen couples in restaurants sitting across from each other engaged with their phones and not with each other. And, we have seen with parents engaged on their phones rather than with their children.
Enough is enough!
Checking your phone when engaged with someone else is disrespectful. It makes people feel ignored and not important to you. In time, such cell phone behaviour will erode the quality of personal relationships as clear communication will breakdown. Everyone wants to feel that they are being listened to.
Note: Research has shown that children with computer and cell phone preference over face-to-face conversations, grow to be less empathic.
in 2012 as part of a campaign called “Stop Phubbing” by Macquarie Dictionary, the term “phubbing” was created to describe the behaviour of snubbing someone in favour of a phone. The official term highlights the description of many among the millennial generation and the concern of what appears to be an obsession and addiction to mobile phones. This addiction impacts negatively on relationships as well as on self-esteem and personal satisfaction.
In the Real World
It’s one thing to be at home with allotted time focused on your phone, it is an entirely different thing to be on your phone when you are outside socializing. We have all experienced this on some level. Phones are always on the table within easy reach and being checked as soon as they ding, whether at a meeting, restaurant or kitchen table. As soon as the energy shifts in the conversation, people check their phones as if unable to deal with the pause.
Many among the millennial generation especially have a very hard time focusing their attention for extended periods of time. Attention spans are significantly shorter than that of older generations because information nowadays is delivered in quickly digestible bits, requiring little to no effort on our part.
Note too: that distracted driving due to cell phone use is the leading cause of accidents today.
We have all done it. We have all phubbed someone in favour of our phone, but rarely stop to think about how it makes the other person feel. No one should feel like they are competing for your attention, or that they don’t matter enough to you.
On-going behaviour like this will breakdown your relationships, romantic and otherwise. When you spend time looking at your phone screen, you are not engaged with the people in the room with you. They are not getting your full attention and therefore not your full presence. Your cell phone behaviour is signalling to others that they are not important to you. This also ties into FOBO ( Fear of Being Offline).
3 Steps Towards Immediate Change
- Set time aside or (several segments of time) each day to check your phone when you are alone. Or, take a break to be alone to check your phone. Morning, noon and evening as an example.
- Prioritize the people in your life and their feelings. Be present. Listen and respond. Make eye contact and ask questions. .( * note and if you are expecting an important call – perhaps you are a doctor on call- or you have a sitter at home, then let people know at the onset that you must check your phone.
- Put your phone on silent, put it away in your bag or pocket.
If you are having difficulty being distracted by your phone, unable to prioritize, have FOBO, feel concerned about your social media presence or simply feel lost in life, book a consultation with me to learn more about how I work. Vancouver Clinical Counselling can make a significant difference in the lives of those who feel they are unable to cope on their own. I would be happy to work with you in guiding you towards a more content, self-aware, and confident path.