From Our ReadersOh Sorry, I Fell Asleep And Other Familiar Excuses via TextFrom Our Readers

In today’s day and age it is not unlikely to be virtually anywhere and hear the buzz, tweet, hiccup, or bing of someone’s cell phone going off, but is the contraption attached to that noise the demise of physical human interaction? We all know that it is a common sight to see two people having lunch while both are glued to their phone to see who is trying to text them, but is it the age of phones that is making it easier for people to just stop making the effort to see their friends at all?

Today’s group outings usually consist of texting someone when you get to the coffee shop letting them know you got them a seat and are waiting, this isn’t like the 90s where you had to pre determine a location, give a quick description of your outfit so your friend can find you and then hope that no one gets lost or held up. Now it is so much easier to just send them a text and tell them you won’t be making it.

What does this say about our generation? That we would rather make our friends upset then be on time, just because we can now? Are we are more comfortable with our phones than our actual friends? Is it too much to ask to hang out with my friend and not their new electronic limb, am I just wishing for a simpler time and my old ways will die out?

I have friends, who are so charismatic via text/Facebook chat/messaging, but in person they are simply glued to their phone and the idea of actual conversation is just too much to handle for them. They close up, and hardly look up from their tapping thumbs, but guess what friends- I have a face and hilarious things to say and you are missing it by simply refreshing your Twitter feed!

I have one friend who I met for a birthday lunch that was just the two of us, and I was just downright bored watching her text the whole time, it felts like a really dull reality show, and I thought I had turned off Real Housewives of Vancouver before I had left the house! Her phone didn’t leave the table, she was texting literally the entire time, and it felt like a fight for her attention! When I got home I noticed that she had posted a photo on Instagram of the gift I gave her, and that was the only way I knew that she had liked it. I barely got two minutes of her time to give her the thing! I got an ”awe”, .3 seconds of eye contact and a quick “thanks” before right back to her phone.

On Facebook these people seem so comfortable with themselves, “selfie shot” after “selfie” (how many angles can I possibly see your new shirt from!) but it is like pulling teeth trying to see them in person, even when you get them away from their laptop you never really get them in full because they get to bring their favorite part of the computer with them in their cell phone, which for some is just too consuming. It makes me wonder if when I am the one being texted consistently if they are ignoring someone else for my sake!

Is the technological age a blessing for these shy people, or a way to isolate oneself and abandon those around them?

I still have a few unsullied friends, who don’t have cell phones, and meeting them may need a bit more pre planning but they are never late, and always attentive to our conversations.

It is not a new idea that people are in love with their phones, ignoring those they are with to check it, but is it becoming an epidemic of just blowing off seeing the actual person all together, just for a chance for a bit more alone time with our phones?

See more from Rebecca Mastromattei here.

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  1. I think this is a great blog post and definitely resonates with the way that i have been feeling about society as a whole lately. The modern man seems to prefer to live life through a 3-inch screen as opposed to adopting a more carpe diem lifestyle.

  2. I think the author needs new friends.

  3. On the one hand, I do agree with the notion that it can be the fault of the phone user as opposed to the phone itself, but I have experienced this countless times with just about everyone in my life. I do not think it relies solely on the phone user, because even my mother has been guilty of scrolling through her FB feed via her cell phone when I’m trying to tell her something. I will also honestly admit to gluing myself to my phone if I’m in a situation I don’t want to be in or with people I don’t feel comfortable with. However, I actually think it’s really unacceptable to be having a full-on text-versation with someone else if you are in the company of another friend. It’s just downright rude. Put the phone away and answer your texts later.
    I just don’t think that phone etiquette has been officially established as a culturally accepted concept and until that happens, the new generation is going to keep thinking it is okay to be so into their gadget.
    Great article!

    • I don’t see how it’s the phones fault ever really? It’s not like the phone said to your mum “lets go on fb now!” Or anything like that – it’s an inanimate object that provides convenience in communication. If my phone starting coming up to me saying “psst play with me” I’d be concerned.

  4. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and suggest that you need new friends. Ignoring someone during a coffee date to be on the phone is just rude and unacceptable.

    I feel the issue is the phone user, rather than the phone itself. A lot of my friends and I have very very busy lives and sometimes weeks can pass before we get a chance to hang out. It’s nice to be able to message each other, check the Facebook feed and be able to virtually hang out and keep in touch before a dinner/lunch/coffee date can be arranged.

    On said dates, phones are sometimes on the table – but only in case something comes up and needs us URGENTLY, only then will we interupt the date to text or call. Eg text from mum – YOU SAID YOU’D BE HOME 2 HOURS AGO, WHAT GIVES? That sort of thing needs your attention asap.

    People just need to learn better phone etiquette.