When I began to find it uncomfortable that friends visiting me were consulting their gadgets, even if it was to show a picture, or to look up trivia connected with a board game…. I thought carefully about why it upset me. We are open with our friends, who are very good about establishing a new courtesy, so there is no finger-pointing behind a back. One’s own experiences of course supply the examples! Watching e-mails and text messages roll in is most appalling but I explored why whipping out gadgetry at all put me ill at ease. It is handy to look up trivia but with an addiction at hand, we mustn’t create seemingly justifiable reasons to brandish cell phones when we are occupied with a person! I did successfully conclude whence the rubs derive. If we do not establish a fresh etiquette for technology; people would whip them out to show a picture or consult a website all of the time and there would be no more visit without it, with just people. If this is a habit you started, to the extent that you cannot see why clogging personal time with technical devices is wrong: here is an easy way to clarify the faux-pas. What do you suppose second-hand communication modes are for?
A letter, mail, a phone call, electronic mail…. the purpose secondary, remote communication serves is to take the place of a visit you can’t have in person! A way to get messages to one another when you can’t talk in person. To keep in touch until you can be together. If you can’t attend an occasion, you mail a card in place of bringing one to the party. We love and care for a variety of people and enjoy milder acquaintaces too. We only live with a few of them. The remainder, who do not rise and retire in the same home, arrange time to be together. That is what a visit is! If you mess around with an Iphone when you have the blessing of someone setting aside personal time to be with you: it defeats it’s purpose! Secondary communication modes are meant to close gaps and make do, until you can be together with someone in the same place…. therefore put them away when you are indeed with a person!!!!
If you left children with a babysitter or if a relative were unwell, certainly that is different. It unfortunately still takes your attention away from the group but there is nothing rude about it You will feel relieved and better fit to visit when an awaited call is dispensed with, no call from a babysitter after a couple of hours is a good sign. If there is a way you can arrange with your relative or babysitter to contact you in one particular way, perhaps by calling, and turn off the sound or applications of the other communication modes; then those superfluous modes won’t be a factor. If you think it would be easier and faster: phone the babysitter or relative and verify that things are all right.
Another way to make the distinction easy between right and wrong, is to ask how we did things before cell phones carried e-mail and text messages with them; made our home offices portable? I would check e-mail and phone messages, if I wanted to, when I got home! If I were anticipating a call or message that was on our minds, or if we were with people for hours: I might ask to check my answering machine or e-mail. One session: not randomly monitoring whatever might be incoming! Because the people phoning, e-mailing, text messaging don’t know you are with friends and because the nature of today’s cell phones mean you carry your home office with you: you have to turn them off! To keep the connection open to beep the arrival of any message or call that rolls in, interrupts the people you are with and pulls you out of the present. If your eye or ear flickers to your gadget every time something rolls in, or you actually have the nerve to answer the phone; you aren’t giving your companions the attention they deserve. You are depriving yourself of throwing your spirit into it. Do you know people who are terrible at remembering detail? This is why! They have never focused on anthing wholly enough to absorb it.
There’s something else you might relate to. A visit at someone’s home is the most personal kind there can be. You experience their milieu, their world, along with them. I occasionally bring some of my cats with me largely, pets are only seen at their home and because they are family for many of us, we want our visitors to delight in them. Think of the decor of your home too. You put care into what you collect and they way your environment is displayed: an atmosphere you would like guests to soak in while they are there and enjoy. I would like our guests to roam around if we have left the room, or during a lull and take a close look at our many books, music albums, and blu-rays. How are our plants looking? How about those pictures on the walls? I would be as disappointed and uncomfortable to find guests bending over the gadgets after we have stepped out of the room, that they will be taking home with them. Why should they want to rip themselves away from the relaxation and joy our environment might give to them?
It also gives the impression that they are so focused on their devices, as if addicted, that they couldn’t wait to snatch a chance to look and were glad we left the room. Simply put: do you need to look for messages now? Can you not contain yourself until you are home? Why aren’t you more interested in our visit? If your friends notice changes in your decor when they return and clearly made the most out of their previous visit by having paid attention; it is most rewarding and brings you closer. There’s nothing so special as friends and family who have spent enough personal time with us, to notice changes in our decor or personal collections. Our pets will welcome them back too when they have bonded.
What is the goal of this article? To help you have this conversation with your visitors, as easily as forwarding this to them if you would like. You see, we need to collaborate together and establish a new etiquette because there is none for technology that brings your e-mail, text messages, and your phone calls along with you. Two women who believe in giving their full attention to the present and respect to their personal time, Oprah Winfrey and Ellen DeGeneres, frequently shared that they were very late getting involved with cell phones or text messaging. Matthew McConaghy said in an interview with Ellen that his home does not even have an answering machine paired with their land line telephone. Just like the good old days, it rings and if no one is there, it ends there. If you catch them at home, then indeed they will answer the phone.
I carry a cell phone when I’m out, an old one that has no internet and which is not ideal for text messages, mainly in case of emergency and of course for convenience. If I’d like to let someone know I’m in the city and might wish to visit, I can call them. If I can’t find their house, I can clarify directions. If I can’t find Ron at the mall, I ask where he is. Here, cell phones serve their puproses well. Interrupting time you have set aside to spend with someone, they defeat their purpose and rob your focus. But we need to shake people into awareness of this. They certainly aren’t meaning to be rude and will be glad to have new modern rules.
How about protecting our alone time? Talk show hostess, Ayisha Taylor, admits she can’t bear not to monitor her Iphone. Putting it away doesn’t work. But if such a person set aside particular periods when she can consult her Iphone as much as she would like and periods when the pull of external forces is turned off, it WOULD work. You aren’t separated from your messages. You are choosing sessions for attending to them, instead of allowing your life to be interrupted at random. If I am sharing a special moment with my cats, when we are all in the sun at a window and I am reading; I unplug our main phone and have my cell in the drawer of a different room. In other words, nothing rings through and disturbs that sacred hour or more. My am satisfied that my cell phone will record messages and I can go on-line for e-mail later.
Candidly: I believe it is an uncreative person who can’t relish spare moments, apart from pecking through electronic devices. Walk, watch a film, clean a room, plant seeds in flowerpots, cuddle your pets without any distractions! I remember an episode of “Everybody Loves Raymond” in which Debra Barone lands a marketing job in New York City and is excited about a long train commute from Long Island. (You see what I mean about a sharply-focused memory! I saw this years ago). She said: “I have the gift of time! I can actually read!” Even aside from visiting courtesy, I believe it maintains an underestimated element of health to clear a few hours for ourselves, in which messages don’t jangle us. We will go to them when we wish to.
Some etiquette is so well-engrained, like not punching anyone; it scarcely needs to be taught. More detailed etiquette, our parents and teachers instill. Flushing toilets and washing hands at every use…. these seem like no-brainers but we have trained our behaviour for millenia. Favouring gadgets ahead of people who put aside time, has more serious implications than people are aware of. If it makes you uncomfortable, as if humanity is getting away from us: politely make a rule with friends and family to turn devices off. Open a conversation by forwarding this article if that would help. Putting away the home office and allowing ourselves to just be people when we are together, is the fresh rule to guide us.