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.