Mobile Phone Habits and Personal Interactions
Everyone uses a mobile phone. All the time actually. When we wake up we check our phone. When we eat we check our phone. When we go to the bathroom we look at our phone. When we talk to someone we check our phone. When we go to bed we use our phone. The mobile phone has a lot of good features and is very useful. It gives us more time to do other things. One of them at the moment is to use our phone more.
The mobile phone steals our attention. So instead of having complete focus on what we want to do we watch our phone on/off. If it rings we need to check etc. This leaves the person we are talking to as unimportant. They feel like that they are our second interest. Even if they are not. But we are not noticing that we have this behavior.
We tend to have worse personal relationships because of our lack of intimacy in conversations. It is hard to become friends with someone if they feel like they are the second most interesting all the time. That is not what we want in a good relationship. The same can off course be said in romantic relationships.
This observation has led my girlfriend and i to add some rules at home. No phones when we sleep. We allow to have the phone in bed in the evening as we go to bed pretty early and use it to plan and relax together. But it has to go to the living room before we want to sleep. This works pretty well. The consequence is that we always have some good conversations before we go to sleep. And this brings us closer together.
When we are eating together there are no phones allowed. This works well – i can feel the difference. But this rule is harder to obey. But i think we will get there eventually.
At the moment what works well for me in the weekends is to leave my phone at my “phone spot” in the living room. In that way i can be completely together with my family. This results in real quality interactions.
I want to bring this to the workplace as well. But at the moment i am not sure to what extent. Our CEO has his phone in his hand all the time. And i can see the consequences it has. People feel second when talking to him. And i know that that is not what he wants. His behavior has big influence on the rest. People copy his behavior as he is the CEO – the leader. I think we need to change that. So i will start to practice it.
It is a simple thing. But it is not easy to change mobile phone habits.