Check Your Phone!

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart. -Helen Keller

My son-in-law, Shelby Rayl, manages our other business Concrete Construction Supply. Once he was interviewing someone for a job and the potential employee checked their cell phone during the interview. Needless to say, they didn’t get the job!

I was recently at a lunch with three other women. The conversation was casual and friendly when suddenly someone began checking their cell phone while another person was speaking. I know

that the person speaking at the moment was interesting because that person was me! Okay, maybe I am not interesting enough to hold someone’s attention in conversation but I think that has happened to all of us. I have seen texts checked and answered during business meetings, networking meetings, social events and during conversations. Regardless of how important we think our particular communication is, the message we are sending to the people around us is that there is someone, somewhere more important to us than the person we are with. Personally, I think it is demeaning to the people present.

This problem is on my mind a lot, and I keep waiting for someone to put an article out on cell phone etiquette, and then I realized, I am somebody that could do that! So after consulting with a few friends, checking a few blogs, and watching one TED talk, I threw together a few possible guidelines. Of course they are just guidelines

  1. A cell phone should never be checked or responded to in the presence of a real life human.
  2. It is preferable that cell phones should not be brought to meals or meetings and a cell phone should NEVER be set on the table during a meal or meeting.
  3. Never try to resolve relationship problems by text. Remember that over 50% of our communication is nonverbal. Also, tone of voice is important to communication and sometimes an emoji just won’t cut it.
  4. Talking on a cell phone is not considerate or appropriate while in:
    • bathrooms
    • hospitals
    • movie theaters
    • performances
    • elevators
    • waiting rooms
    • restaurants
    • museums
    • salons
    • church
    • funerals
    • weddings
    • taxi cabs
    • buses
    • trains
    • waiting in line
    • riding in a car
    • visiting friends or relatives
    • while doing transactions at grocery stores, banks, etc
  5. However, please do return texts and phone messages as soon as it is reasonably possible. Leaving people wondering if you received their text is also rude.

THREE THOUGHTS

  1. While addiction in humans has existed in all generations there has never been a time in the history of the world where there has been a such a wide array of things to be addicted to. Cell phone addiction is a real thing. We actually get a feel-good dopamine release when we get a message. That is the same chemical process that happens with any addiction from sugar, to drugs and porn.
  2. If you can spend at least two hours a day of device-free time with your children, you will raise an entirely different kind of child.
  3. In this era, and especially among my generation, the person who can proficiently use technology will typically have an advantage in the world. That includes a cell phone. But I make you this prediction: The future belongs to the young person who is not reliant on their phone, who avoids addiction to technology and can be creatively productive without it. They will have an edge over their peers. Think about that!

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Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things. -Robert Brault

By Sherry Stirling Fernandez