Hello? Hello? Are you there? You’re Phubbing.

Can you hear me?  I see you  curled up on the couch, but where are you?   Oh, your thumbs are flying.  You must be texting.  Now you’ve got headphones in.  You must be watching a YouTube video.  Now you’re swiping the screen.  You must be scrolling through facebook, or pinning on pinterest.  You’re slashing at the screen–oh, it’s fruit ninja.  Are you there?  You’re phubbing.

In a world where we we can use our electronics for just about anything, it’s hard to remember to take time out for the more important things on life.   Here’s a few responses to some of Emily’s team’s thought-provoking prompts on the matter:

3. Why do we treat electronics as our most prized possessions?

Because they’re pretty much the most expensive things I own! If anything happens to them, it’s a lot harder to replace them.  The other things is because they’re so multi-purpose.  I’m reliant on my electronics.  I use my laptop for school, occasionally for work, for church, and for personal use (both just for fun or for social purposes).  I use my phone the same way.  It’s essential to have it.  Try telling your group members or employer you don’t have a phone.  It doesn’t work long-term. People expect you to be available and capable of getting info.  You need electronics to be a highly-contributing student or worker in this more urban  society of Provo, UT.

4. How do you feel when someone is using his or her phone during a conversation with you?  Do you do this too?  Why?

It drives me nuts.  There’s a term for it too: phubbing.  It’s snubbing someone for your phone.  (See http://stopphubbing.com/).

In my personal opinion, it’s worse if they snub you while they’re texting a boy.  I don’t mind if they need to answer a quick text, take a quick phone call, look up an address, or send a quick email to take care of something important.  However, if they’re just passing the time between texts by pretending to have an un-related conversation with you, it is the MOST annoying thing in the world!  I used to do this before I knew any better, but I don’t do it anymore because I realized how disrespectful it is.  It’s not as bad if you weren’t actually having a conversation together, but if two people are engaged in a conversation, and 1 person repeatedly disregards the other person in favor of their phone, it’s annoying.

5. Are you in control of your electronics, are are they in control of you?  Give examples.

I am in control.  I refuse to pass off the blame to my electronics. 🙂  Sometimes it is easy to exercise poor control over your electronics.  It’s been a joke in my apartment recently.  When six of us started out as roommates last summer, none of us had a smart phone.  We used to joke about our dumb phones.  Then, I got a smart phone.  A few months later, Carol, our second-smart phone owner, moved in.  Then, Heather got a smart phone.  Then Janae, another smart-phone owner, moved in.  Then Haven and Becca got smart-phones on the same day!  As of about two weeks ago, the whole apartment had smartphones!  One day we were sitting in the living room and Becca (who’s phone was in her room) says, “Hey, everyone’s on their phones!  You all are just having a phone party!”   We used to hate it when people would be on their phones all the time, and then we were doing it!  So, after a little bit, we put our phones away and all made breakfast together.  Case in point: It’s easy to exercise poor control, but if you’re aware it’s a problem, you can do something about it.

One of my roommates told me her goal this year was to focus on being present.  That means that wherever you are, you focus on what’s going on there.  She’s great, because when she comes home, you know she’s ready to socialize.  She still does some homework at home or texts, but you know that when she’s having a conversation with you, she’s focused on the conversation, not the homework or the phone.

6.  Would you rather have no phone at a party for 4 hours straight or spend the night playing on your phone with friends who are playing on their phone.  Why? 

It depends on who will be there and if there’s anything fun happening at the party.  If I’m really comfortable with the friends there, then I’d take a 4-hour, phone-free party any day.  It sounds a lot more fun!  Playing on your phone by yourself can be really fun, but you lose all the interaction you have with other human beings.  There’s something about face to face communication, sharing the same experience, and being able to laugh with one another that’s just unbeatable.

7. Do you prefer texting or calling?

If it’s something easy to say/ask/explain, I prefer texting.  That tends to work better for me, because I’m in work/class/buildingswhere I can’t talk (like the library) a l0t.  I like texting because I can access it silently when I want, and for however long I want.  Voicemail takes too much time, and it’s a little loud.

If something takes explaining, or I’m walking somewhere, then I prefer calling.   If someone doesn’t answer their phone, I send them a text or an email communicating whatever I wanted to say, or I just ask them to call me back.   I like it when people do the same for me.

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2 thoughts on “Hello? Hello? Are you there? You’re Phubbing.

  1. I agree with you about the whole texting or calling thing. Texting is great for when you are in a meeting or something and can’t take a phone call and as long as it is quick. For everything else calling is better.

  2. I also find it so interesting how dependent we have become to our electronics. Especially as students we have a great need to use technology for our studies and also for our entertainment. I feel that in general we have become the most dependent on our cell phones and I only see this increasing.

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