Get off your phone. Now. I don’t care if you’re retweeting the most inspirational quote or hearting the funniest meme on Instagram or answering the craziest e-mail from your nutty boss. Put it down. It’s getting out of control. Have you recently walked through the grocery store, then gotten home and realized you didn’t make eye contact with a single person? Yeah, this is what I’m talking about.
My friends and I frequently complain about how it’s really difficult to meet people in real life, and it is, but a major reason for this is because no one really interacts with other humans out in the wild anymore. Instead, we silently pass each other as we both stare into phone screens, talking to people in other places who are also ignoring the people around them so that they can talk to us.
I’m guilty of this, unfortunately, though I’m trying to be more aware of it. The other night when we were out, my friend Ali glanced around at our table. We were all on our phones. “Guys, this is too 2015. Phones away,” she proclaimed. Huge props to her for this, because she was totally right.
If you’re a person who says, “It’s so hard to meet people in real life!” you lose the right to be someone whose face is constantly buried in their phone.
Recently I was walking around Target and kept ending up in the same spot as a guy my age. Actually, yesterday’s post established that I’m really bad at pegging people’s ages, but let’s just say he was around my age. This happened maybe four or five times. He looked up once and smiled at me, but every other time his face was two inches from his phone. Finally, we went to check out and he was behind me, still typing away. The cashier tried to get his attention twice to let him know she could ring him up, and it wasn’t until people giggled quietly that he realized that it was his turn. He was so plugged into whatever was happening on the screen that he had no clue where he was or what was happening. Come on now.
Maybe I’m just bitter because I’m convinced that this was supposed to be our meet-cute and he ruined it with his incessant texting. But on the other hand, who wants to marry someone who can’t separate themselves from their phone for a few minutes to impulse buy all of the things at Target, right? He totally would have ended up missing our kid’s first word and first steps because he was busy tweeting or whatever he was doing. It all works out.
But seriously, I don’t care if you want to meet a friend or a significant other or a business connection. Put your damn phone away. It will stay safely inside your pocket or purse, all fingerprint smudged and a little cracked, ready for use when you are done interacting with real people.