I love my iPhone, I really do. It makes so many things in my life easier and more fun. But I am increasingly struck by how drastically our smartphones have changed daily life. Wherever I go, everyone is glued to their phone—in elevators, trains, waiting rooms—so that there is never any empty time. You don't ever have to be bored, and you can avoid potentially awkward social encounters! But it pains me to see people relating more to their phone than each other. In restaurants, couples (maybe on that rare date night) are looking at their phones instead of talking.
This short video shows how everything from bowling to birthday parties have been affected by the ever-presence of phones. Phubbing—a great new term—is the act of snubbing someone in a social situation by looking at your phone instead of paying attention. The website Stop Phubbing recently went viral and had to shut down temporarily when it overloaded. Certainly, too much of any good thing (dark chocolate, exercise, antibiotics) can be a problem. Moderation has got to be the key.
Kids love our smartphones too, but not when we're texting or checking Twitter instead of paying attention to them. Our phone helps us feel connected to others—whether we're working moms or home full-time—but it also keeps us from really connecting with our kids. If you constantly check your phone (or keep it in your hand) when you're with your kids, it's not just rude, it's sending a message that they're not important enough. No doubt, I am guilty of this sometimes. But I am making a real effort to stop. I want my girls to learn good manners, and I want us all to have more fun in the time we spend together.
Photo via Shutterstock