The fact that I’m even writing this will probably come as a shock to most. But I have a hard time keeping it in my pants. It seems like it’s always in my hand, no matter where I am, much to the chagrin of my girlfriend I might add. I’m talking about my iPhone here. Since I got my first iPhone back in 2008 it has been my constant companion.
I am a self professed tech whore and I just can’t get enough, but at this point I think I’ve just about had enough (or rather everyone else has). By that I mean to say, when I’m out to dinner with friends, I’ve been making a concerted effort to not be on my phone. First it started by me turning most notifications on my phone off, then I started placing my phone on the table face down so that I couldn’t see text notifications pop up. Then I began to place my iPhone on the seat next to me. Now I’m at the place where I put it in my pocket, except for the occasional Shazaming of a song that I hear at a restaurant. I’ve gotten better at “keeping it in my pants!”
What made me shift with my excessive phone usage when out with others were two things; observing the annoyance on the faces of my companions and watching other people at restaurants sitting at tables with everyone on their phones, texting, Tweeting, Facebooking and generally not paying attention to one another. It was pretty sad to see, and it was going on all around me. We are losing our social skills and I saw that I was helping to perpetuate that. I have a tweenager who recently got her first iPhone and if I want her to keep it in her pants, I have to do the same by setting the example.
I enjoy real human face time interactions and it is even more important in these times where people are starting to be more disconnected due to social media to make the most of our real one-on-one connections with people. So, I am setting a few rules for myself. They’re not really rules; they are simple etiquette (which seems to have gotten lost in the information age). When I am talking face-to-face with someone, I will not be on my phone! Whatever it is, if it’s not an emergency, it can wait. What’s really going to happen if I don’t answer that text right away or post that tweet? Absolutely nothing! Is what I have to say on Twitter really that important? Truth is, no one really cares that much and it kind of borders on narcissism to think that our thoughts, feelings or music choices are so important that the world must know NOW. It’s hard to say all of this stuff because I am more guilty of it than anyone I know. But truth is truth and it’s time for me to put the tech down and keep it in my pants!
Sound off; are you guilty of not keeping it in your pants? Do you get dirty stares from relatives because you’re always on your mobile device?
Written by Ellyn Gray. You can find Ellyn on Twitter