There is one thing I have a very low tolerance level for: and that’s people sitting on their cellphones in a social setting. It happens far too frequently and I was reminded how much this bugs me the other night.
At university, studying media and digital what-not, we often discussed how distracted society is and how different media forms literally have to fight it out for our attention. You could be watching TV, the adverts in between, all while browsing facebook on your phone and still whatsapping a friend at the same time. It’s one thing for “the media” to fight for our attention, but your friends really shouldn’t need to.
I see it so often, usually in larger social gatherings vs more intimate ones where so many people are sitting on their phones. It stands to reason that you have agreed to go out with your friends, you obviously wanted to see them, talk to them, to hang out. Is hanging out just to “be in their presence”?I sometimes find it rude and insulting when out with friends, and those in your physical company aren’t as important as those living in your phone. I sometimes find it offensive. Is the company you’re in not good enough?
This isn’t a “never use your smartphone” rant. If I’m out and need to message Greg, ask a question or let him know when I’m going to be home, I’ll do it. But that’s not the same as sitting and having a conversation about my day when I’m out with other people. I’m out with someone else and they deserve my undivided attention.
This isn’t to say I’m not guilty, or that this isn’t a difficult game to play. I’m often the one to sit checking facebook or twitter before bed, while Greg is next to me doing the same. Or doing the same while we’re watching series. Sometimes, when I’m more conscious of this and I’ve made a point of putting my phone away, I’ll ask Greg to put his away too. I’m not always good at this, and it’s something I definitely need to work on. If there is anyone who deserves my undivided attention, it should be Greg.
Technology today is such a blessing, enabling us to chat to those far away for practically nothing. It makes them feel so much closer to us. It just makes communication that much easier. Maybe it makes it too easy, when you think about these situations of being with friends in real life. I don’t know. This is just what I’m thinking currently.