Put your damn phone down!
Nothing says “I don’t care what you’re saying” more than staring into your phone when someone right in front of you is trying to have a conversation. This is something that’s discussed a lot, but I’m still guilty of doing it, and I see more and more people doing it all the time. It’s something I’d like to become more aware of and knock off.
My daughter is really good at waiting for me to put my phone aside when she wants to talk, and she will call me out on it if I don’t. My son, when he wants my attention, will get right up in my face and say, “Mommy, look at me,” and I will set aside my texting to talk to him. But each time my kids do that, I realize that ANY time an actual real live human being is in my presence, my phone needs to take a backseat to them.
Remember the movie Wall-E? All those overweight people tooling around in their space wheelchairs, staring into screens, with their Big Gulps in the armrests? I remember at the time thinking that we would NEVER get that bad with our actual human interaction, yet here we are, not too far from that.
When I was a kid, we actually had to LEAVE THE HOUSE to socialize. We can have whole relationships through our phones now. These devices that were supposed to make things easier have, in many ways, complicated our lives. We keep our phones at the ready, waiting for texts or likes or notifications, while the people in the same room want to connect with us face-to-face. We are missing out on the human contact we all need and thrive on because of the tiny computers we carry around in the palms of our hands.
I’m giving up my attention to my phone when there is another being in my presence. I want the people I come in contact with to know that I value their time and attention – even (and maybe especially) if I live with them and see them all the time. Nothing feels better than feeling seen, heard, and appreciated. We all deserve that.