Monday, July 8

Dumb Moves With A Smartphone

Two important questions regarding your gadgets are, how do they affect others and how have they affected your close relationships?

Why does this matter?

It matters because I think we are setting ourselves up for trouble. Trouble certainly in how we relate to each other, but also trouble in how we relate to ourselves, and our capacity for self-reflection.

We are getting used to a new way of being alone together. People want to be with each other yet elsewhere connected to all the different places they want to be. People want to customize their lives; they want to go in and out of the places they go because the thing that matters the most to them is control.

There are key components to the development of our professional and personal lives. Face-to-face communication is superior to any other form of connecting and is an important element to one’s progress. Wherever possible, having eye contact and listening to those around you will open more doors to an enriched future filled with endless opportunities.

What order of importance does your Smartphone hold, in particular at home? 

"Our family comes first," or at least we verbalize such sentiment. Sadly, and in most cases, the Smartphone dominates the privacy of our homes and indeed, it controls our responses to what should be our most valuable relationships – those we call “family.”

Behind the walls of our home and across a broader field, people cannot get enough of each other but only at a distance and in amounts they can control; not too close, not too far, just right.

I have taken charge in my own life and have decided to either silence or switch my Smartphone off at home. It simply makes good sense when others are around. One has to use their discretion; there are times for that expected or important call and there are times when one is on-call. However, I pose this question: How important does it have to be for your cell phone to be the object of your attention? Do you spend more time checking texts and email than you do taking an interest in your spouse’s day, your children’s activities, or caring for the multiple responsibilities on your home front?

If a cell phone dominates your home, then priorities are under jeopardy. If your cell phone IS your priority, then I would seriously reevaluate the reasons those relationships are in place.

Focus on the moment without the distraction of ominous ringtones or the endless beeps from random text messages. Access your cell phone habits. Perhaps it's time for a healthy break. Our family deserves our full attention. Do you listen long enough to hear the hum of your habits and not your cell phone?

Five Smart Tweaks:
  1. Make it a priority to silence your cell phone in the home
  2. Engage in face-to-face conversation 
  3. Respect the privacy of your home life and have phone call and text limits; other than emergencies and opportune times, I am available between 8-5. Otherwise, calls go to voice-mail and text messages are checked at 8 a.m the next day
  4. Put your Smartphone out of sight; I enjoy the present environment without having to eyeball a Smartphone each time I enter a room
  5. Keep important calls brief and respect family time
I encourage you to place your attention where it needs to be and not necessarily where you want it to be. Our present relationships depend on the consistency and constancy of healthy and engaged interactions minus the distractions of a Smartphone.

Our future generations need the bedrock of this kind of development through the unique example of men and women, reflecting the supremacy of face-to-face relationships.

"Your family needs you to plug into their world,
much more than a Smartphone
needs fingertips to function."

Deborah Choma

Corporate Trainer | Conference Speaker

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