I will not look at my phone or watch tv while eating dinner with others.
Yesterday I encouraged you to text people. Now I’m going tell you texting is terrible.
This doesn’t discount what we posted yesterday. Texting friends instead of browsing the Internet is a much better use of your phone. And I totally stand by it. However. In my opinion the increase of texting has done the most damage in killing true connections between people.
Hear me out. When I’m sitting with someone, whether it’s for a business meeting or hanging out with a friend, or catching up on the day with my wife, if one of our phones ring, we may glance at it, but if it’s not an emergency we won’t answer it. We recognize that if we answer the phone we are breaking a communication connection and quite frankly, it’s rather rude.
What’s different about texting?
Now let me ask you this. Why are texts different? How many times have you or the person you’re talking to, received a text message and instead of waiting to look at it, you read it (often without even acknowledging your sudden lack of attention to the person you’re talking to) and then you’ll say “hang on a sec” and start texting back.
Here is what you are saying to that person. And remember, communication is what is heard not what is said, so it doesn’t matter what your intent is. What you’re saying to them is “This text conversation I am having, is more important than the one I was having with you”. You wouldn’t say that out loud to their face, so why would you want to say that with your actions?
We do this in even worse ways when we sit at the dinner table watching netflix or something, essentially letting the people around know that we are most interested in entertaining ourselves and not in actually connecting with them.
What you’re missing out on.
We’ve been stressing quite a bit over the last week the need for community in the fight to change our habits, pornographic or otherwise, and this is a community killer. Every time you choose your phone conversations over a movie, you are not just training yourself to constantly turn to your phone for companionship, but are missing out on what could be really good moments with real life people right there!
In my family, my wife and I have started leaving our phones away from the table when it’s dinner time, or anytime we are eating as a family. We want our kids to learn that when you sit down with someone you are there to interact with them and not your phone.
Can you do this? Start leaving your phone on a counter away from the table, or even another room. Make the people you are with your priority.