Where is your phone right now? Maybe in your hands as you read this or by your computer. And while you’re reading this, you’re likely to get a bing from a friend, family member, or co-worker. How will that affect your focus on what is in front of you right now?
You might read the same sentence in this article a few times or perhaps miss the point entirely. Well, the same thing happens when our phones are within reach as we converse with our loved ones.
How many times have you gone out to dinner with someone only to put your phone out screen up on the table?
What does this say to your dinner companion?
In a discreet way, you are saying that at any moment something more important may come along. That this moment with the person across from you may not be as important. And that the attention given to that person is worth being cut off if you get a text message about work or family.
Yes sometimes grave situations occur. But let’s be real: 99% of the notifications you will receive will be mundane news and not as valuable as the person you decided to dedicate an hour of your time to.
As a millennial, 9/10 of my friends pull this one with me. Insisting that their phone needs to be in sight “just in case”.
What does that tell me?
I’m not important enough to be the only thing they have to focus on for just one hour.
When it’s both people with their phones out, it becomes ok because everyone does it. Like when one girl pulls out her phone at a party and then, as if by default, everyone else feels that they now have permission to do the same.
What is this doing to our relationships?
According to a study at Essex University, the mere presence of a phone during a face to face interaction can decrease empathy, conversation quality, and overall ability to engage with and focus on the person you are with.
Just another reason to put your phone away.
Still feel the vibrations? Try airplane mode. I promise you no one will kill you if you don’t respond right away. Take a deep breath, and go deeper into the moment right in front of you with the beautiful person you decided to be with. Now that is what I call love.
Kimberly Lucht is a life coach that helps millennials create a life in which they thrive. Click here to get her free weekly tips on how to live your best life.