We live in a world that is obsessed with electronic devices. Almost everyone has a cell phone. Just step out in any busy area and youll see hundreds of people checking their cell phones. Their heads are down reading their text messages, or trying to find a contact to make a call. They are often so engrossed in their phones that the world around them ceases to exist. They step out into traffic without looking, and bump into people as they walk.
When we are so absorbed by our color touchscreens and need to be always checking email, Facebook, and Twitter, what is the cost to us? Are we neglecting the real world where connections and relationships are nurtured by human touch and emotions?
Has Your Phone Replaced Talking to People
Do you put your phone away when you are with other people? Or do you still keep it on because we seem to have become tolerant of these electronic devices that interrupt our conversations. Our addiction to our mobile phones intrudes on all aspects of our lives.
Are you the one at the restaurant with friends that puts their phone on the table so you wont miss any important calls? Have you ever been out and watched a group of people, usually teens, not even talking to each other, but busy texting on their phones. They obviously spent time arranging to get together and meet, however once they do they are merely present in each others company.
Theres more to life than avatars, texts, and photos of cats. Whens the last time you tried to talk to the person beside you on the train, or in the elevator? Have you smiled at a stranger, or complimented someone recently? These are all opportunities for human connection that we are missing when we absorb ourselves in our devices and disengage from the world around us.
How to Use Your Cell Phone Less
- No phones during meal times. Food should be savored and the people who you are eating with deserve your full attention. Make eye contact, chew each morsel thoroughly and enjoy the laughter. Youll be surprised at what youve been missing.
- No phones at work or school. Youre being paid to do a job, not to text. Honor your employer and focus on your job.
- Dont multitask. We really cant multitask effectively anyway, so why try to use your computer AND still text on your phone at the same time. Use only one device at a time.
- Recognize how much time is wasted. Is it really necessary to check Facebook 30-40 times a day? Set aside a specific time to catch up on the social scene, and do it only during the allotted time youve set for it.
- Engage with people. Stop being so engrossed in the screen, look up and notice the people around you, talk to them, observe them, and above all dont interrupt them to answer a phone call.
- Absorb the beauty of the earth. Look around you, smell the freshness of the breeze, hear the birds sing, look into the eyes of other people. Dont use social media to experience human connection. Use real people to connect.