Automatic Tendencies


Yesterday, the boy told me prior to our Vday get together, that there would be a no phone policy. When I heard him say that, I felt butterflies in my stomach and a smile on my face. I was surprised with my reaction (and my feelings of perceived romance), for I am one to always have my phone by my side (if not in my hand). I liked this notion of having all of his attention, without the distractions of Yahoo Basketball Fantasy Pool check-ins and random work emails that never seem to stop. I thought that he too would likely prefer to also have my undivided attention, without Tweeting and Foursquaring our meal and night away. So, when I got to his place I did something I’ve never done before, I turned off my phone.

Isn’t it funny how our parents and their friends and sometimes ours complain about how rude it is for us to have our BlackBerry’s on the table with us, as we check our phones while they say it? We tell them that they just don’t get it, but it wasn’t until last night that I realized maybe us twentysomethings are the one’s who “just don’t get it.”

What a pleasure it was to have his undivided attention. To not be competing with a little red flash (aka the notification that kills the mood). To not have conversation resort to ‘what does this mean’ or ‘how do i respond’ or ‘hold on’ as he drags his right thumb over the trackball I’ve learned to love to loath.

I woke up this morning, a lesson taught. I realized that I often look at my phone, check Twitter and Facebook updates, scroll up and down my list of bbm contacts, merely out of habit. My work day was done, there was no one I was expecting to hear from, no to do’s that couldn’t be put aside until the next morning, as often is the case. Having my phone shut off was like having my mind put at ease. No outside factors could stress me out or affect my mood, the same mood that in turn affects the one I’m with (and vice versa).

With every forum we use to communicate with others all coming through to our phones these days, it’s so easy to keep constantly distracted, even if not by choice. Even if not with the intention of it affecting another making them feel like they come ‘runner up’ in the vies for attention. I challenge you to be more mindful of how often you look at your phone – just because there is a silence. Just because the one you’re with has left you a lone wolf at the dinner table when he goes for a washroom run. Just because the person you’re with is looking at theirs. When you notice you’re about to pick up your phone, I say do it, but only so you can shut it off. The response gracing your company’s face and the feeling of importance that comes with it, will mean more to them then any red notification flash does to you both.

– Jenny Jen

Photo Credit: Source.

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