5.02.2016

Cellphone Etiquette and Screen Addiction Discussion



We have all seen them. They are everywhere. You can't escape them. People staring at their smartphones like zombies. In restaurants, walking the dog, in the middle of a movie, while driving, waiting in line, in class, outside of class, during the ballet, during intermission, at the coffee shop, while watching TV, while out with their kids, at the park, at the school, during meetings. This new dependence on the screen is changing the way we live and not necessarily for the better. The addiction to the screen and its use as a crutch in social situations brings people further away from poise.
- excerpt from Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic

In today's discussion we are broaching the topic of smartphone etiquette and screen addiction. I'm sure you've noticed over the past few years that people seem to depend more and more on their smartphone to get through the day. What ever did we do before they were invented? I, myself, struggle with an addiction to checking my phone and often have to remind myself to not become one of those screen zombies.

In this week's video a wide range of topics is discussed: everything from Patti LuPone taking a cellphone out of an audience member's hand during her broadway show, to screens in restaurants, to that burning desire we can't seem to shake to look at our phone when met with a moment of downtime. This discussion is wide and varied. Be sure not to miss it!

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News
The Polish edition of Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic, Szkoła wdzięku Madame Chic, will be released on July 7th from Wydawnictwo Literackie.



Check out the wonderful video review of all three Madame Chic books from YouTuber, Tina Bietler, in her video titled, Books that Will Change Your Life.

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Ania writes:
I just wanted to let you know how your books and blog inspired me to change my life. I have been following you for around two years and I have always thought "She is totally right, looking presentable always is a good thing to do" but I never followed this principle. I was like: "yeah, that's a great idea but not for me, too much fuss". But then something just snapped in me, without any particular trigger and I thought that maybe I should try to follow your lifestyle advice. One day, instead of staying all day in my work out clothes, I made a make up and dressed nicely (it wasn't difficult for me as I had narrowed down my wardrobe to capsule version earlier thanks to your books). And you know what - it was liberating. Since then I've been doing this every day and not only this. I also keep my home clean on every day basis, eat proper meals with my family etc. It's such a life-changer! I bet there are more readers like I used to be - thinking your ideas are perfect but not following them. I really advise everyone to give it a try like for a week or so.

Dear Ania, Thank you for sharing your story! Many people think the Madame Chic advice is good, but not for them. I love how you encourage other women to try it out. What is the worst thing that can happen? You will discover things about yourself you never knew before.

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This week, I would love to know... what do you have to say about this week's cellphone etiquette and screen addiction discussion? Do you have any stories or insights to share with us? How do you handle it in your family? Leave a comment below and your comment could be chosen as comment of the week on the blog. See you soon!



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43 comments:

Rambling said...

Apart from the socialization issues surrounding cellphone addiction, I use public transportation and have noticed that people's posture is becoming quite frightening. My commute is an hour long and most people spend that entire hour hunched over their phones, their shoulders hunched awkwardly and necks crooked at the most uncomfortable looking angle. I wonder what it does long term to our necks and shoulders, I would love to ask a chiropractor about this.

Angi Campbell said...

I am definitely guilty of too much phone/screen time. I struggle with feeling like I need to always keep my phone near my in case someone tries to contact me, and that it might be rude to not reply immediately. What is the etiquette regarding how quickly you should respond to people's texts (personal use, not business)? Also, I am rather addicted to Instagram and FB, and find myself always wanting to check them so I don't get "behind" on what is going on. So silly when I stop and think about it. Maybe I would get out and see my friends more in real life if I'm not constantly stalking them on social media!!! Thank you so much for this video. I need to examine my use of technology for sure!

Julie in Wa said...

Oh I am so with you on this. I don't own a smart phone and can't fore-see ever having one. I'm 66. After all these years, it is just not important to me. This "face in a phone" thing is every bit as rude as being invited to someone's home and them having the TV on and the sound up the whole time. I can't stand it and want to leave. Yet I was invited. Sometimes I've been so bold as to ask them to turn the sound down, but then I feel rude.

Love your "Polish Your Poise" book. Keep up the good fight.

Julie

Le Ann said...

I agree with everything you said. We as parent/grandparent need to model a balanced relationship with our screen time! People can actually survive without them, although they do have benefits. I am going to be watching myself more closely! : )

Elizabeth Lloyd-Pool said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Emma Knight Peel said...

Another point I would make about putting away phones at the dinner table, or anywhere, is to really be in the moment and enjoy the person's company without constantly thinking about the moment when you can get back on your phone to see what you're missing. It's equivalent to being quiet when someone is talking but not really listening because you're waiting for your moment to say what you've been wanting to say. Seeing people walking while looking at their phones really irks me. It's pathetic that they can't put it down for even a minute! I'm so glad I had an archaic cell phone during the summer I spent in Paris, too! Can you imagine coming back having only seen your screen?

Elizabeth Pool said...

I struggle with the difference between restaurant activity sheets and phones/ipads for kids. Both keep my child's attention, and I find that I can be just as engaged in what my kid is doing (coloring or playing a game) regardless of whether it's on paper or online...if I want to be. Once the food arrives, all distractions are removed and my son is expected to be present for the meal. Waiting is always the hardest part though, so I'm just not sure how I feel about digital versus non-digital distractions for wait times in restaurants. Any thoughts from other moms?

Emma Knight Peel said...

I saw a joke cartoon on facebook once that said, "I'm having people over at 7:00 to look at their phones, if you want to stop by." That's so on point! I've been to friends' houses where they were all looking at their phones. I wasn't because I have to be in a wi-fi zone to get anything new, and I like it that way because it helps limit the time I'm on it and keeps me from checking in often. I pay only $26/month for an AT&T Go Phone plan and I can do everything on my phone that I want to.

Amanda Garcia said...

I went through a period of time where I was very addicted to my phone. I did some soul searching and determined that I didn't actually need access to my email and the internet 24/hours a day. I could check my email once a day from home and that is more than sufficient. I also realized that there really aren't a lot of emergencies that would require me to have my phone on and right by me at all times. During the day, my children are at school and daycare and both places are able to authorize emergency medical treatment in the very rare instance that might be necessary (hasn't been an issue yet). So to break my addiction, I traded my iphone for a flip phone. For a year, I wasn't able to access facebook or email from my phone. I found myself leaving it on silent and in my purse and checking it periodically rather than frantically. It was the best thing I could have done. I have a smart phone now, but choose to leave it put away most of the time and have no problem leaving it behind or in my trunk if I need to. I find that I enjoy my life more by choosing when I will look at my phone rather than be compelled to look at my phone every time it dings or buzzes. I feel for people who are so addicted to their devices that they are essentially enslaved by it. I have the freedom to enjoy the benefits of a smart phone without the anxiety of wondering what someone will think of me if I don't like the picture they posted of their dinner right away.

Sara OSS said...

My husband and I have a rule that if we're going to pull out our phones while out to dinner we ask the other person before doing so. That way there's an out for 'making sure that important email was sent' or what have you. When I'm alone I always ask myself whether I would be comfortable pulling out a paperback or reading a magazine. If not, then I leave my phone in my bag.

Valerie Christina said...

Hi Jennifer,
Thanks for the great topic. I do find smart phones are becoming a social crutch in society. I have always found well read people to be the most dynamic and intelligent, and although there is a wealth of information on the Internet and television there is something special about a person who loves to read. My Mom and Dad always told me to be "well read" and we'll, I do my best. Recently I was at a Barre class and before class started I noticed everyone was on their smart phones looking "busy". When I was in dance this never would happen everyone took advantage of spare time to improve their technique. So before the barre class, I was the only person stretching and warming up before the teacher started, I felt kind of weird but then I told myself not to pay attention to what others were doing. However, I do struggle with managing my screen time now and then. I have been working on my 10 item wardrobe as a matter of fact and found myself searching, comparing, sale hunting a little too much. I had to make my choices and say that's all for now. If it's not shopping it can be Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, news or research of whatever I'm into at the time. I am trying to keep off my phone at work and after a certain time in the evening. I am always full of joy to watch old movies and shows and see no cell phones and how people used to use their minds and interact. I should go now, time to read :)

Amy said...

I'm 46 and my husband is 50 and we've never owned smart phones - we have old "dumb" phones we use for emergencies.

We went on vacation recently and got lost and pulled out maps we carry in the car and navigated our way in that manner - it was very satisfying to use the map reading skill that we learned as children.

We're both professionals but have never had the need to have expensive contracts/telephones and be constantly connected. It's sort of sad what a minority we are, but I did see an article in the Wall Street Journal recently about how many people are opting for "dumb" phones.

Amy said...

Thanks for the video Jennifer! I completely agree with everything you've said. I notice people are missing out on life around them. I only periodically check my phone throughout the day. So I always get a message within a few hours of receiving it. But I never feel the need to respond immediately. All my family and friends know I am often busy working, or out and about and I will respond as soon as I can in a timely manner. What really bothers me the most is when people have the phones out in a movie. I have even politely asked people to put their phone away because it was distracting me so much. Thankfully most of the time they do apologize and put the phone away. I just worry people are losing touch with the world and people around them. -Amy

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Sara said...

The same thing happened at the dance recital for my daughters last year! It was so frustrating. I spent hundreds of dollars on dance lesson, costumes, not to mention the time involved. There were two people in front of me lighting up their bright phones the entire dances of my daughters. Maybe I need to be more assertive and ask them to please refrain from using their phone? Maybe your next video could give us polite ways to cope with this issue. I just ignored it because I am honestly very afraid to confront people in anyway.

I see a difference in activity sheets and electronic devices at meals. My nephews are always on devices at restaurants, my daughters color or do activity sheets while waiting for food. The kids on devices are in their own world and often need to be asked questions 2 or 3 times before you can get their attention. Kids I see doing other activities like coloring seem more likely to ask what color they should use or say things like "look what I did". While they may get immersed temporarily they don't seem completely tuned out to the conversations around them.

Rose said...

i couldn't agree with you more on this topic. first adults and the cell phone. everyone should know better but they don't. about 2 years ago, i was in a very small restaurant on their very small patio that fit three tables. i was waiting for my husband and sitting at one of the tables and a woman at the table next to me was on her cell phone discussing her terrible day at work and swearing, completely oblivious to anyone around her, so i asked her very nicely if she would mind ending her call and she got so, so mad at me, she called me a bitch, and just ranted on about what a horrible person i was to the person on the phone. i told her i was sorry, i got up and moved tables, and before she left she handed me a card which said that i was crazy and that i needed therapy! it was so upsetting. in retrospect, i should not have said anything to her, i should have just moved tables, and i will never ask anyone to get off their cell phone again after that incident, so my bad. regarding children and phones and tablets, it's just ridiculous. what happened to good old crayons? my daughter is almost 30, so i did not have to deal with cell phones and iPads when raising her, but i always had crayons and paper for her at restaurants (and most restaurants had them too) and she always kept herself busy at the dinner table before the food was served. on road trips, i would give her a laundry basket, and she could bring whatever toys, books, crayons, etc. that would fit it in for our trip to keep her occupied. she could still color and draw and create while still being an active part of the conversation. we'd play battleship, car bingo, hangman, etc. as an adult, she is an amazing artist and i believe it's because she had so much opportunity to create during our 3 hour stretches in the car in which most kids today would be watching movies. it's just crazy to me. i know i am generalizing, but what's wrong with parents these days? there seems to be a common weakness there somehow, i just don't get it. so many parents today let their kids run the show. i just wasn't brought up that way, nor would i raise my daughter that way. great topic.

Sophia Montgomery said...

Some people seem to be unable to be alone, or quiet, or make pleasant conversation when with others. These things require skill.

Andrea W said...

I agree one thousand percent, Jennifer! Well said, and I look forward to part two of this discussion.

I used to have a food blog named Rookie Cookery (it is still on the web but not very current right now), and one of the main reasons I stopped updating it was because I did not like having to take "glamour" shots of the food before I sat down to eat it with my family! (Professional food bloggers would not be silly enough to multi-task their family dining with a food blog, but that's what I did!) There were other reasons too, but that was a biggee for me.

Now I am aware that when I am having a lot of fun with my friends or family, I want to take pictures and "document" the fun. Again, I think a few snaps are great,-- but not to the point of interrupting and distracting from the fun. It is all too easy to do.

Please continue to fight to protect the art of dinner conversation. Your children will absolutely learn, and it will become a joy for the rest of your lives. My sons are adults now and we love to linger at the table and talk. I wouldn't trade it for all the screen time in the world!
--Andrea Winchester

zephyr said...

Ack! Jennifer and Sara, I can only imagine the frustration, being at your daughters' recitals and having glowing screens around you! Yes, I'd say something to the users of those phones, if their seats were close by. We go to the opera and to many plays, and smartphone usage must've gotten to be a big problem, because before performances, there is always an announcement to turn off our phones. At the opera, an usher will definitely chastise anyone who pulls out a phone. And heaven forfend if you forget to silence your phone and it rings - everyone around you will turn and glare and even voice their disapproval!

Our sixteen-year-old son has never been allowed to pull out his smartphone during meals, either at home or out. We have very good, close friends, though, who have a son the same age as ours, and they don't monitor his screen usage when we're at/out to dinner together. My son will be sitting right next to or across from him, and this young man is completely oblivious to him. They've known each other since birth; it's not like they have nothing to talk about or nothing in common. Really annoys me! It's just plain rude. Fortunately, my son will join in conversation with everyone else at the table.

We live right across from a park. It's really sad to see parents and caregivers just let their children loose, and then pull out their phones, completely ignoring the little ones. I worry for their safety. And what kind of message does that send to the kids? At their young ages, they won't quite realize that apparently whatever is on the phone isn't as important as they are, but they'll "get it" when they're older. If it's going on in public, it most certainly is at home. I almost feel that these children are, out of the box, starting off life with a huge disadvantage.


Evaline said...

Thanks for this, Jennifer. Devices of any kind are creating safety issues as well. Car accident Stats vary, but it is safe to say that a very large percentage are caused by drivers distracted by their devices.

I commute 3 hours a day to get to work and back. It is horrific to see the number of people playing games on their phones while walking in a crowded train station or sidewalk.

I use a simple flip phone only when I am not near a land line. Works for me.

A note to parents...my parents had 6 kids...we were never allowed to read anything at the table ...we ate almost all our meals together and told stories and jokes and talked about our day and current events. We did this every day, at home and at restaurants, with or without guests. It was fun!!! Really, really fun!

ewa ew said...

I am very excited for the Polish edition of your book.
I am waiting although I read the original;)

Patricia said...

Although I do have a smart phone, I do not feel addicted to it or to Facebook or anything else. I guess I'm lucky that way. It might be because I am 49 and I didn't grow up with all of this technology! I like having my cell phone with me to stay connected with my children, ages 15 and 16; it has helped on many occasions. We don't allow screens at the dinner table and my kids seem okay with it, although my son occasionally sneaks it in!

With regards to your Patti Lupone story, I remember hearing a similar story about Katherine Hepburn stopping in the middle of a play she was performing in because someone was talking on a cell phone. This was a long time ago, most likely before smart phones. I remember hearing this on the news although I can't remember what year it might have been.

Someone commented that children being on a screen at a restaurant is the same as doing an activity page or drawing and coloring. I disagree with this for a couple of reasons. First, being creative and interactive by drawing or playing a game with a sibling is so different from being more passive while watching something on a screen. I guess you could argue that the child the child is playing a game. In my opinion (I am a parent and a teacher of young children) children are on screens entirely too much.
Second, I have been at restaurants where the children are watching a cartoon or playing a loud game. This bothers me so much and is so rude to the people sitting at nearby tables who are trying to eat a nice meal.

It is interesting that you chose this topic at this time, Jennifer! It is screen-free week at our school. Children and parents are encouraged to stay away from screens for the week and "Look up and look around". Go outside, read a book, play a game with your family. I don't know if this is a national thing or not but it's a great idea.

Patricia said...

I was just thinking that I'm certainly not perfect either because I have used the internet a couple of times, used my cell phone, and I watched a movie this week. Certainly not screen free for me. However at least it's less screen week! :)

Anna Barej said...

Your books are extremely inspiring. I can't wait to get my hands on the third book. I usually buy ebooks because I want to avoid too much clutter but I feel that I have to have a paper version for the reference in this case. I'm so glad we will soon have a Polish version of the third book.

Robin B said...

Your point is well taken. I wonder what you would think if you saw me sitting at a table and staring at my phone. I have a kindle app, and read books from my phone when I'm away from home. It keeps me from having to carry them around. Would you judge me differently if I was reading a book made from paper?

K Gray said...

Dear Jennifer,

Thank you for this video. I couldn't agree with you more on this topic. In addition to being rude, constant use of smart phones and tablets is horrible for posture. I am a physical therapist and have seen both adults and children (which is disturbing) for treatment of neck pain. When using devices, we should make sure to limit our time looking down and consider elevating the screen to eye level to take stress off of the spine.

Kimberly

mimimanderly said...

My husband and I go out to dinner once a week. Numerous times, we have seen couples sit down at a table and immediately check their phones -- sometimes at length. I think that if I were out with someone who had their face planted in their phone, I would get up from the table, as if I were going to the ladies room, and just leave. (It helps considerably if you were the one who drove, or if you met there.) Who wants to be a third wheel with a phone?

Lillian said...

Funny story on this one - my boyfriend and I have a strict no-phone policy on dates unless we're in a lively debate and need it for fact checking. Once, we were out to dinner for his birthday with another couple we like to go out with. I was on my phone texting quite a bit that evening - because I was orchestrating a surprise party for him when we got home, and the guests were starting to arrive at the house to set it up! I was relaying instructions for setting up the party refreshments and entertainment, and not being very discrete about it.
I'm not used to balancing conversation and subtle phone use...so he completely knew something strange was going on. He even tried a few times to hint to me that I was being rude. I actually had to pretend to be oblivious to his hints. The other couple we were with knew what was going on, and were trying not to laugh. Luckily when we got home, the rudeness with the phone was explained when 20 + people were there to surprise him.

Usually I make an effort to keep the phone out of sight. Sometimes I have the bad habit of using it as a crutch during socially awkward situations. So I guess if you ever see me texting at dinner I'm either feeling very awkward, or you're in for a big surprise.

Jan Blazejewski said...

Hi, Jennifer, I really enjoy your website and your books. This morning I happened upon a study that says 50% of teens are addicted to their cell phones and the consequences of that. I thought you might like to see it. Here is the link: http://getschooled.blog.myajc.com/2016/05/03/new-report-one-out-of-every-two-teens-addicted-to-smartphone/

Nancy said...

Excellent discussion, Jennifer! Readers may be interested in Dr. Kathy Koch's book Screens and Teens: Connecting with Our Kids in a Wireless World, full of wisdom on the topic and very applicable even for younger children.

Evaline said...

This piece about Sherry Turkle, author of Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age is relevant to the topic here.
http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/01/the-eavesdropper/355727/

In many ways what she says gets to the crux of things...it is not that technology is bad, or looking at a phone over dinner is bad, it is about our relationships with one another.

What is more valuable to us? our relationship to our devices, or our relationships to our family, friends, and the natural world? Are you a skilled conversationalist? Can you tell a good story? A good joke? Entertain a crowd with your singing or guitar playing? Host a fun dinner party? What skills can you share with others? What are you good at? What are you known for? Do you know the best hiking and picnic spots in your community? Are you a whiz at Pictionary? Social media has its place, but nothing beats real life!

Mrs LJ said...

I agree with everything said here, but I'd like to add a couple of counterpoints:

1) My father in law reads 2 physical newspapers every day. Recently, when we were at his house, he read the paper during our conversation with him. Later, he said "you all are always on your phones!" I said, you read 2 newspapers while you speak to us, I read my phone... my phone is basically a newspaper, but everything on it happens now, instead of yesterday!

2) This morning on the El, I saw 4 people reading books (not Kindles - real books) and as many people on their phones. The arguments that "people are going to have back problems from hunching over their phones" and "nobody pays attention to others around them, because they're on their phones" could also apply to people reading books. (And how do you know I'm not reading a book on my phone?) And yet, we don't say, "look at all these people READING BOOKS and not being present in the world around them!"

I agree phone usage can be very rude in some settings, but I think some people get bent out of shape about phones especially, forgetting that there have always been ways to ignore others.

AquinoFamily99 said...

Screens vs paper @ restaurants -
Usually when kids are coloring or writing on paper they are very reachable, as someone else stated. On the screen, whether they are playing or socializing, they are usually unreachable to the people present.
Usually. Not always.

I have read several articles over the last few years about the real, physiological addiction and the brain chemistry concerning electronic games and computers. The symptoms are similar to that of drug addiction where taking the 'drug' away causes withdrawal, denial, guilt and physical illness! It's worse for kids. There are programs and safehouse-type institutions to help addicts!

We keep our kids screen time down to once a week and are very choosy about the games. I have seen the addiction begin first hand in one of my children as his behavior dramatically changed. This is a serious issue.

Screen vs paper books -
I don't think anyone here would judge you for reading on Kindle, checking email, playing a game or using social media, just as we would not judge if you were reading a book.
It's more about when you do these things and whether it's keeping you from living life or spending time with humans.
If you wouldn't pull out a novel on a date, you shouldn't pull out a kindle book or other screen activity.

I am a big reader. When we first married my husband asked me to please choose more carefully when I read, as he felt excluded from my presence when I was engrossed. It's much like many of us may have felt when our elders were hidden behind newspapers when we were young. I had to choose times to read when it would not keep us from connecting.
We struggle now with keeping the phones in their place for the same reason, but it's even harder given our propensity for addiction to instant info or shopping or beating the next level.

wanderlustxrunner said...

Thank you for raising this issue! I believe screen addiction is starting to affect many of my friends and family, including myself. I recently posted an image stating "Live In The Moment" on my Facebook and Instagram as well as my intention to abstain from these social media outlets for the month of May. So far, it has been a great experience! I remember what life was like before social media. I have been keeping up on my journal and reading more. Life can be full of wonder and amazement but my phone screen was keeping me in my own little cocoon.

P.S. I loved your books!

Kimberly O said...

I just read the comment above about books being just as bad for posture as screens are. I've had children's parents say the same thing. I think the problem is the amount of time we spend in that posture. Unfortunately, you will see children using devices much, much longer than they will read a book. But yes, if you or your child truly spend hours and hours sitting in a slumped posture reading a book, that would also need some correction in my opinion!

JennieJen said...

You may laugh, but we play the game at dinner time 'that the Queen is at the table with us'. I played it with my parents growing up and now my children relish it too (age 7 and 5). They giggle when they burp or put their feet on the table in jest or when they spill something: "What would the Queen think?!". I love that she is always with us and that the children inherently know their good manners, whether they choose to practise them or not! Personally I choose to practise what I preach and avoid my phone/computer when the children are around - it definitely helps even though it may be hard at times. We are the role models so there is not much point in complaining about our children's addiction when we tend to encourage it for our own peace: our rule is movie night on Friday and screen time for one hour on Saturday and Sunday. Art / creativity is an obligation & pleasure every other day.
PS I love your blog and books - my guilty pleasure when the children have fallen asleep :-)

Sylvie said...

For the most part I think that you are absolutely right about the overuse of devices as a crutch in our present day society.

However, as a professional who works with children on the autism spectrum, I wish to point out that their of people in our world who would not be able to mentally or physically cope with riding public transport or sitting in a restaurant without the stress-relief and engagement offered by a tablet/iPad. Literally, there would be entire families who wouldn't be able to go to restaurant or a performance, visit parks or even sit in church.

I love and appreciate what you do here, Jennifer, I just wanted to share with our community here on your blog that forgiving the presence of a screen may be the most mannerly thing of all - as sometimes there's more to a situation than meets the eye.

Rose said...

When people actively defend negative behaviours I see a red flag to be concerned.

Jennifer and other art aficionados: cell phone addiction has been brilliantly portrayed by Antoine Geiger http://www.pissarro.net/Antoine-Geiger-1995-SUR-FAKE-DesktopDefault.aspx?tabid=6&tabindex=5&objectid=717098&categoryid=16417

and Eric Pickersgill http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3270660/Communication-problems-Photographer-removes-mobile-phones-images-couples-families-expose-just-addicted-technology-become.html

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Lily said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Summer Smith said...

Thank you for confronting this, both in yourself and in others. I think anyone with a smart phone or tablet has to admit, they have a bit of this. It is just so easy to do! Thus, the snag and later the obsession. I have this too and your courageous confrontation on this subject is the kick in the rear I needed to work on it and spend more time in real time with my family and friends.

Thank you again for all you do.

Margery said...

Yes, Jennifer, absolutely yes. We all use our smart phones and devices too much and are not mindful of the moment. Mindfulness, I think, is the key word to remember in cell phone use.

I wanted to share not a story of a bad experience with cell phones, but a happy story of an app that has added beauty and culture and mindfulness to my life. I'm sure others already know of the free app Librivox. If not, please check it out. I have been using it to listen to free classic audio books while I walk in the neighborhood, clean my kitchen, or prepare dinner while my kids are studying or playing. I've listened to "Pilgrim's Progress," "Uncle Tom's Cabin," "Pride and Prejudice," and am currently listening to "Jane Eyre." It's such a beautiful way to add culture into my busy life. It allows me more time to enjoy these masterpieces than if I were to sit down to read them. Did I mention that it's free? Of course, I do not listen to them while I'm with my family or others.

Thank you for your blog.

Jenny@JenericGeneration said...

I'm so glad you are talking about this topic. It is so encouraging to hear it addressed, and to read the comments from other people who agree! I have noticed that if I am looking down at my phone for too long, my ONE year old notices. It is definitely a wake up call, and like you said, it is heartbreaking. I feel rude looking at my phone in public, in most situations. I actually think I struggle most with it at home. It drives me nuts seeing other people on a plane or waiting for their food at a restaurant, staring into their devices. I think learning to sit through awkward or quiet moments is such a lost art these days. But we miss so much! I am definitely going to be more aware of my cell phone usage, especially around our children. I want to set the best example for them because addiction, in any form, doesn't feel good.

 
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