In a world consumed by online interactions, niche (sometimes referred to as “weird”) communities, personal/business profiles or the latest apps (video, music, photography, or daily deals); it’s no wonder people are increasingly irritated by what the digital device is doing to ACTUAL social interaction and relationships.
Have you ever gone to a restaurant and observed people texting under the table? Checking Twitter or Facebook on their phones or iPads? Have YOU ever been that person?
This even happens in an office setting. Have you ever been in a meeting where you or someone else is speaking and you realize most heads are looking down at their phones or iPads and most likely not paying attention? (Although, it’s fair to say that sometimes people do take notes or are commenting about certain speakers/news …but I’m going to go out on a not-so-far limb and say this isn’t the norm).
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when we see these situations going on: That’s just rude.
It’s time (long past time, actually) that we all take a step back, set down our digital devices, and remember that along with the digital freedom comes human respect. Whether you’re spending time with family and friends or in the office (even if it’s a boring meeting), we all need to keep in mind that consistently losing eye contact with someone because you are addicted to your mobile device is rude. End of story.
There’s a time and a place for the digital world – heck, it’s my profession! But we also need to remember that there’s a time and place to turn those devices off and give other human beings our undivided attention. I’m just as guilty as anyone else reading this blog.
So, what can we do?
- Unplug when it’s necessary.
- Focus on eye contact.
- Hold conversations longer than five minutes that don’t involve a computer/phone/iPad etc.
Remember, your behaviors have an impact on your kids, spouse, co-workers and your IN PERSON reputation.
Find the balance. Enjoy and embrace the benefits of the digital world, but learn to cherish and thrive in (real) uninterrupted human interaction as well.