Over the past few month’s, I’ve noticed a fairly common trend of pulling out your smartphone while in a social setting to see the faint glow of that oh so familiar home screen. I’m guilty. I do it, too, but especially when I’m with my girlfriend, I’ve made it a point to keep my phone in my pocket, unless I’m checking the time or using it to engage conversation with the people/person I’m with (taking photos, talking about a new app, etc.). It’s been somewhat of a social experiment of mine. I haven’t told anyone until now, and it’s been pretty incredible to see exactly how much time people spend in social settings with their stupid faces glowing.
I’ve started to notice that when I see other people do it instead of looking, listening, and interacting with the people they’re with, I can always sense a slight insecurity and rudeness. At dinner with friends, people often whip out their iPhones, or Droids, or whatever the fuck piece of overpriced technology they’re using when conversation slows, and they begin texting bullshit to whomever-the-fuck instead of thinking about new shit to discuss with the people actually present. I’ve even seen people at parties with their faces glued to their phones giving zero fucks about what’s actually going on around them.
Don’t get me wrong, there may be an actual reason to be staring at your cell phone at some point, but chances are, you’re just conveying to everyone around you that they either bore you, or that your personal insecurities are causing you to care way too much about what’s going on with people you shouldn’t be giving two shits about at that moment.
Ask yourself this question: How many people do I regularly text everyday? Then ask yourself, how could my relationships with them be greatly improved if I called them once a week instead of constantly texting? How much time could I get back if I didn’t spend all day, every minute, texting 17 people at once?
What’s really sad, is sometimes those people who care about you aren’t addicted to social media and texting. Perhaps they don’t give a shit about the outside world when they’re with you. Maybe that 45 minute text conversation could be better spent on a 5 minute phone call ending with you not giving a single fuck about whatever else is going on in the universe besides where you are, hopefully enjoying yourself.
If you know me well, you probably know that I witnessed a car accident on my birthday in 2011 in which I saw an 18-year-old mother cross a busy highway at 80 miles per hour and crash into a semi-truck killing her 10 month old infant child. I was first on the scene to find her bloody corpse hanging out of a car and her infant son inside crushed to death. The street, littered with blood, diapers, and baby food is one of the most harrowing scenes I’ve ever witnessed. Browsing the Internet later that week, I found that the cause of the accident was because the mother was sending a text while driving. That’s another story altogether. The point is, you’re disconnecting yourself from reality. I promise that whatever you’re about to text or receive isn’t that important. If it was, then you’d probably have gotten a phone call.
When you break your habit of looking at your cell phone, you stop checking texts and Facebook and Instagram and Twitter and Gmail and Tumblr and SnapChat and all the other fucking countless zombifying time wasters, and you start to care less about everything else in the world besides the moment you’re in. You’re probably thinking, “LOL OMG but I want to use Instagram and Facebook to document this amazing cheeseburger beer combo next to this candle GUUUUYS!” That’s totally fine. It’s great actually. I encourage you to document your life socially, but please don’t look through your newsfeed while we’re having dinner. It’s fucking rude. Seriously, if you’re with someone that you should be talking to right now, then stop reading this! Go fully engage with that person.
Think about it… You could have living, breathing, human people in front of you hanging on your every word, but instead, you’re looking at the same bullshit photo of your friend’s crossfit paleo diet, or a filtered #nomakeup selfie of some slut you went to high school with.
Just remember that real life is not your secondary priority. Your cell phone is.
And, don’t be an asshole.