By years of texting and making notes, I have managed to get pretty fast at typing on the phone. Although at times I find myself wondering if my thumbs were suddenly replaced with the whack a mole hammer from my childhood memories of an arcade game. Sometimes the words my phone spells out would stump the most brilliant minds of any generation, whether it be the actual spelling or the odd combination of words that it combines together.
Depending on my level of stress at that moment determines whether I have thoughts of throwing my phone in the toilet. But as angry as we get with our phones, we have to remember how much value they bring into our lives. If not for the challenging work of the people who developed the technology and continuously improve on their work, we would never be as connected as we are now.
With these amazing developments comes added responsibility. We owe it to ourselves and those we care about not to be insanely attached to them. Never has so much been available in seconds, but too much can be overwhelming. Phones have brought together in the palm of our hand – emails, voice/video calls, games, internet browsing, and so on. It certainly makes it handy to have all these so readily available.
It’s one thing to be attached to your phone but it shouldn’t be to the exclusion of everyone around you. The temptation comes when every sound it makes, we feel an impulse to check something. For my task-oriented mind, I see every notification on there like it’s a task on my To-Do list! It can be downright annoying at times to always feel pressure to check and respond. Something I have been trying to do when I’m with family, a friend, or my partner, is take my eyes off my phone and put emphasis on them. Many people take pride in themselves for their ability to multitask, which might be possible to some extent. But when you are engaged with your phone and a person, eventually you will miss pieces of the conversation and ask them to repeat themselves. It can be downright discouraging to know a phone is more important in that moment than a person.
Take time to remember what makes your relationships so special. Then, when you are engaged with people in conversation, be present in that moment. Let them have your undivided attention the way our phones demand our undivided attention. It makes them feel valuable and worth talking to. I cannot emphasize how it makes them feel so much more special when you give them your undivided attention for a period of time. If you don’t, it may have the opposite effect. There is something empowering about taking control over something so simple as this. In truth, it’s an addiction like any other addiction. By resisting its power over you, you gain control over it and in the process, form better relationships with people.