I have noticed such a lack of human interaction lately. At work, everyone stares at their phones during break time. When you go out to eat, diners stare at their devices rather than their dining partners. You don't see many people "waiting" in line or for appointments without having their phones out. I am not immune to this, but lately I have been much more intentional about setting my phone aside and simply enjoying the moments. I don't want to look back and realize how much I have missed while staring at a glowing screen.
We, as humans, crave (and require) human interaction. We need to make connections with family and friends. This has ensured our survival and helps us to feel fulfilled as people. Phones and devices can help with this, but often they are a hindrance. We interact with people differently when it is in person, rather than through a text or Facebook post.
I have learned a few things about using my phone and tablet in an intentional way and I have gained a lot of enriching connections with my friends and family. I want to share my (small) insights with you today.
1.) I don't keep my phone on me at all times. When I am home, my phone is often on the kitchen counter. I also like to keep it on silent. I especially like to have my phone on silent while driving because it is dangerous to use your devices while driving. If I can't hear the notification, I don't feel any need to respond. I also don't check the phone as frequently when it isn't on my person. This keeps me from being distracted from my "real" life.
2.) I do not make myself available to others at all times. I don't respond to messages quickly and I don't worry about checking my phone for messages several times a day. My friends and family are aware that if they need to get a hold of me, phoning my house is the best way to do it. They don't feel entitled to an immediate response back to their text messages, because they know I don't make a habit of checking my phone constantly.
3.) I put my phone away when enjoying time with others. My phone stays away on date nights, coffee dates with friends and family functions. I do use my phone as a camera, but often I will snap a quick picture or 2 of the event and then put it away. I use my time with others to talk, connect and make eye contact. I try my best to enjoy the moments that I get to spend with the people I love. Leaving my phone in my bag is a good way to show another person how much you care about them and that you are truly paying attention to them. This is invaluable for building strong relationships.
How do you keep your phone and other devices from stealing your moments? Comment below. I would love to hear your thoughts.