Disconnected Connectivity

When did rudeness start being defined as not answering a text quickly enough, instead of being defined as ignoring people around you in favor of what’s happening on your phone?

A friend was recently telling me about an experience she had in which someone got upset with her because she didn’t answer their text “quickly” enough. The reason? She had a guest in from out of town and was entertaining said guest. As such, she wasn’t as attentive to her phone. God forbid.

We live in a world now where we’re expected to be available 24/7. Even I find myself apologizing if I don’t answer a text or email fast enough – I think a lot of people do – and it almost seems as though that’s expected. “Sorry I wasn’t available, I was doing xyz”. We need reasons now for not getting back to people immediately, it’s not enough to simply say you wanted a break from your phone. It now seems more unacceptable to be late in answering a text than it does to be ignoring people you’re with in favor of your phone. And what does that really say except “I have something going on that’s more important and more interesting than being present here”.

I’m certainly guilty of this myself, but over the past few months I’ve made a bigger effort to be in the moment instead of staring at a screen. Because when it’s all said and done, I want to remember the fantastic time I had with my friends, not the texts I was sending or the pictures I was posting or whether or not I was getting service. Honestly, getting someplace and discovering that your phone doesn’t work is a fantastically freeing experience.

Call me old school, but I think unplugging is important now and then. It’s important to remember how insignificant technology and social media and smart phones are in the grand scheme of life, because it’s all too easy to let them become everything. 

After all, we’ve got a lot of living to do. And it’s a lot more fun without a phone in one hand.

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3 thoughts on “Disconnected Connectivity

  1. I completely agree. When I sleep a little bit longer on a sunday morning, people already start asking. And then I have to explain everybody, why I was sleeping longer…
    And recently I was on a 4 day hike. Put my cell-phone off, since I had no possibility to charge it and no service on most of the hike. And I felt so free.

  2. I agree with this completely. I am notorious for not answering texts until, like, 3 hours later! but I prefer to be busy chatting, or writing, or reading, or whatever- anything rather than have my eyes glued to my mobile on the off-chance a text does arrive!

  3. Take it from a girl who literally LIVES without cell phone service most of the time. Yes, I have wi-fi in some places and that connects me, but you’re right when you say that it’s freeing. I leave my phone in my purse at work and that purse stays in the break room. I check to see if I’ve received any messages whenever I run back there for something else, but that’s really all. When I’m out with friends? We’re stuck with one another because our phones don’t work in most places. It’s brilliant.

    Now come visit me.

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