Smartphones have played a very important role in the advancement of humankind. No longer do we have to send mail to loved ones in order to communicate – which in the past could take days or weeks depending on distances between our loved ones. Now we can just grab our phones and chat whenever possible via text messages, emails, phone calls, or social media outlets. Despite these beneficial aspects of smartphones due to the ease of access and the affordability, smartphones have also wrecked havoc with face to face conversations for certain individuals.
Good conversations, depending on who we ask, consists of more than just words; good conversations utilize body language, tone of voice, and facial expressions to help propel conversations in the “right” direction and to limit misinformation, miscommunication, and hurt feelings – via misinterpretation of purely text words.
The same devices created for ease of communication has led to poor in person conversations because the people we hang out spend more time on their phones actually talking or enjoying our time together. This leads to the idea that we lack respect for our friend’s statements or importance.
If you notice this happening within your circle of friends then you should follow these 4 tips. These 4 tips should limit the frequency of poor in person conversations and allow for us to take control of our interactions with our friends and family members.
1) Tell friends and family when y’all spend time together that anyone who interacts with their phone unless it is important or an emergency will have to pay X amount of dollars to you or individual group members or they will have to donate to a charity they dislike per each interaction they have with their phone (s).
2) When spending time with friends or family at restaurants, have all the members of the party place their phones in the middle of the table. The first person to touch or reach out to grab their phone has to pay for the dinner bill for the entire party. But exceptions should be made in cases of extreme importance or emergencies.
3) If your friends and family members come over to your home and a trend develops where they are checking out their phones more than they are communicating face to face then a new policy should be developed that lets them know of a no-phone policy during the period of time spent together. Or better yet, play games or start activities that are fast paced and possibly difficult such as Scrabble, Uno, or Twister. These often require full concentration therefore making it somewhat harder for them to fill the gaps between turns to check their phones.
4) Lastly, an approach that is sometimes overlooked is talking your friends or family members about the situation that is arising – excessive phone usage. Sometimes chatting and letting people know of concerns we have with within our relationship does wonders because it allows both parties to see their faults and make changes. If both parties truly believe in their relationship, they will put in the effort to change. But if after discussing the issue about the excessive usage of smartphones during your rare hang out sessions and no change is made then we can make a decision for ourselves on how we want to follow up with our relationships. This can mean focusing on other friends who do not have this issue. Always put effort towards those who allow you to flourish and become the person of your dreams.
Smartphones have many pros that we are all aware of, yet the con of the amount of time we spend on them even when hanging out with our loved ones can be detrimental. But we can attempt to fix the issue by following the aforementioned 4 tips. No longer should we communicate just to find out that our friends are not actively listening but instead are on their phones. Life is too short to waste on our phones when we should be spending it with those in our circle.