Step Away from the Smartphone

PhoneEtiqutte.JosePonte1Our smart phones are our best friends. If we feel awkward, they are there to comfort us. When we lose them, a part of us goes missing as well. And if they die, our only priority is to bring them back to life. Kind of sad, isn’t it?

No one can deny that cell phones have become vital necessities when it comes to communication. We can’t imagine our lives without them – but there needs to be a line drawn between when phones are necessary, and when they are a nuisance.

Grabbing Lunch

We’re all guilty of it. We make lunch or dinner plans with friends, only to spend the entire meal half-listening to the conversation while refreshing our Twitter feed. Although it doesn’t seem like a big deal, it often sends the message that the conversation isn’t important enough for our attention. Even if the conversation is slow, the purpose of catching up with someone is to give that person our undivided, genuine attention. Make a pact with friends to put phones away during a meal – you will learn to appreciate the value of great conversation.

In Class

We’re all guilty of this one, too. During lecture we zone out, and look to our phones to relieve our boredom. This is the easiest, most convenient escape from a dull class.  However, like it or not, we owe our professors respect – and with respect comes attention. Holding our phones in front of our faces while a professor gives a lecture he or she has prepared for our benefit is, unfortunately, disrespectful.  Put the phone in your backpack for 50 minutes – after class you will be rewarded when you look at your phone and have 15 text messages waiting for you. Yay friends!

Focus on Yourself

Too often we get caught up in what others are doing, and begin to feel bad about our own lives. That really cool girl you follow on Instagram who looks like she’s having a blast in every perfectly edited picture? Yeah, she’s probably not. But if you don’t realize that, those pictures will make you feel like crap. Forget what others are doing – put the phone down and start making your own fun. Travel, achieve goals and laugh with best friends. Your real best friends – not the smart phone.

Photo by Jose Ponte