Why Looking At Your Phone During A Conversation Hurts Us All
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Why Looking At Your Phone During A Conversation Hurts Us All

No, I don't want to have a conversation with your phone. I want to have one with you.

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Why Looking At Your Phone During A Conversation Hurts Us All

I've always identified as a 20-year-old who is secretly a 70-year-old woman. I love oatmeal and applesauce, I like to take a lot of naps, I believe that doing new things requires a lot of energy and I think every kid is way too obsessed with their phone.

I got my first cell phone when I turned 12-years-old. I remember it was a red Samsung Sync.

Just looking at a photo of it brings back memories.

There really wasn't much to do on it. I texted, of course, but it took so long to type anything that someone would really have to prompt me to get a text back. I had no games that weren't pre-installed, and the Internet was so tiny and difficult to access that I would give up and find a computer before even bothering with my phone.

So now, everyone tells millennials, "You're addicted to your phone!" And you know what I have to say to that?

Do you see any child frantically trying to break their phone addiction? No. I check my phone when I get up in the morning, I play with it when I'm bored, when I'm in public and feel awkward I'll take some glances at it, plus I'm always aware of where I left it. I'm most definitely not going to change any of those habits.

Here it comes...However, the thing that I despise is when it gets to the point that a person can no longer socialize without going on their phone.

I admit I am obsessed with my phone, but by no means do I allow it to interrupt the people I'm spending time with. If I'm getting a meal with you, I will not sit across from you with my phone in front of my face unless I'm texting one of my parents. Even when I do decide to take a glance at my phone, I constantly say, "Oh I'm sorry I can't type and talk hang on one moment," that can be annoying on its own, but at least I have the decency to let you know I'm still paying attention to you.

What I've noticed is that some of my friends pull out their phones in different social situations and make it painfully obvious that they aren't paying attention to you. I will talk to them and receive one-word responses because they are too busy going through Tumblr or Instagram. Not to mention that if you're in a group situation, as soon as you pull out your phone you are cutting yourself off from the conversation. Nobody is going to talk to you with your phone in front of your face because you are clearly uninterested in what's going on.


This is basically an epidemic. Why, you might ask? Because once one person does it, another will think it's socially acceptable. I know I'm about to sound all preachy, but think about it. We really didn't get addicted to phones until the invention of the iPhone, the first generation of which came out in 2007! That's only nine years ago! Social standards and manners have been around for thousands of years, and smartphones have only been around for nine. People don't even know the long term effects of cell phones, let alone the manners we should adopt with them (though it should be painfully obvious).

Since we didn't technically have proper phone etiquette taught to us while we were growing up, we don't understand that just because you have a phone doesn't mean you have a right to use it all the time. We weren't introduced to ignoring our phones at the dinner table until we were older, so now we don't understand that the rule applies to people other than our parents.

I went to dinner with four different friends a while ago -- four -- and at one point every single one of them had their phone inches away from their face except for me. I'm not trying to sound all high and mighty, I'm just confused as to why everyone preferred to sit on their phones in a group when it's easier and way more polite to do it on your own.

We're approaching the end of my rant, don't worry. Please understand that my thoughts come out of concern. If a person really needs a phone to distract them from their own conversation, then why are they bothering with friends in the first place?

Go ahead and take your phone everywhere. Check it every five minutes. Use up all of your data and then some. But please, please, do not offer to go somewhere with someone and then spend the whole time in front of your phone. I do not accept the excuse, "I am good at multitasking!" I don't care if you can scroll through Tumblr, write an essay, do a back flip and still be able to hold a conversation with me -- if your phone is in front of you, then I feel like I'm not interesting enough for you.

Just. Put. Your. Phone. Down.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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