Smartphones & Conversations

It’s pretty annoying when you’re talking someone, and then they whip out their smartphone and merely grunt assertions. It’s probably happened to many of us, but it’s extremely rude and if it happens, we shouldn’t stand for it.

“I’m fine with people stepping aside to check something, but when I’m standing in front of someone and in the middle of my conversation they whip out their phone, I’ll just stop talking to them and walk away. If they’re going to be rude, I’ll be rude right back.”

It’s not just conferences full of inforati where this happens. In places all over America (theaters, sports arenas, apartments), people gather in groups only to disperse into lone pursuits between themselves and their phones.

“Last year, for my friend’s birthday, my gift to her was to stay off my phone at her birthday dinner,” said Molly McAleer, who blogs and sends Twitter messages under the name Molls. “How embarrassing.”

When I talk to someone, I give them my full attention. If they don’t, I won’t.

In the instance of screen etiquette, sharing is not always caring, and sometimes, the bigger the screen, the larger the faux pas [...]

“This is the way the world works now. We’re always connected and always on call. And some of us prefer it that way.”
MG Siegler from TechCrunch

“My personal pet peeve is people who live-tweet every interaction,” said Roxanna Asgarian, a student at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism who attended South by Southwest this year. “I prefer to experience the thing itself over the experience of telling people I’m doing the thing.”

Mobile devices do indeed make us more mobile, but that tether is also a leash, letting everyone know that they can get you at any second, most often to tell you they are late, but on their way.

And therein lies the real problem. When someone you are trying to talk to ends up getting busy on a phone, the most natural response is not to scold, but to emulate. It’s mutually assured distraction.

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ranjitwithkinginbehand.jpgI'm Range, your host. On the menu, photos, art, stories, entertainment and reviews. Links, maths, education and social issues. I'm in Quebec (Canada) or Taiwan (R.O.C.). Follow me on Twitter.

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