You may have heard Chris and me talk about this on the Beach Drive the other day. A recent study suggests that even having our cell phone in the same room as someone we’re with can be potentially harmful to our relationships. For example, if we’re out having lunch with someone and we pull out our cell phone from our purse or pocket and plop it on the table, it can make the other person feel distanced from us.
My question is this: why is it that we cannot go for an hour or two without having our phone in our range of vision? If I am going out for dinner with someone, I am going out for dinner with them; not my phone. If I wanted to hang out with my phone all night, I would be at home enjoying the company of my phone. I understand that it is important to have our cell phone with us at all times for emergency situations, but can’t we just leave it in our purse or pocket and, only when we need it, allow it to emerge?
The study also says that having our cell phones in plain view reduces feelings of closeness with the other person. And I totally get that. It’s like having another person in the room that we’re more interested in watching and communicating with. Have you ever seen a group of people in a restaurant and they’re all staring down at their phones in silence? There’s definitely something wrong with that. When we’ve got the chance to communicate with real people, let’s do it!
This whole study also gets me thinking about living in the moment. If we’re hanging out with someone during that time, they should get our full, undivided attention. If we’re constantly texting and on our phone all the time, we’re not really living in the moment – we’re actually making plans when we could really be enjoying our time with whomever is with us at that moment. Worry about your phone later. In a world of technology, think of it as a relaxing break for an hour or two to get away from your phone.
It’s like the sticky note that was posted on the corkboard in my Grandma’s kitchen: Life happens while we’re making plans for life.
For more on the study: http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/cell-phone-ruining-relationship-room-study-article-1.1153350