Put The Phone Away. Let’s Talk

We are distracted, constantly fighting to concentrate on a single task before us.

I struggle to stay within a single tab. While waiting for the site to load, I’d jump to a new tab and find something to browse. And one tab becomes two and they grow exponentially from there. Why can’t we focus on just one task? Why are we finding this so hard?

During meal setting, I told my wife to not use the phone unless necessary. However, most of the time I’m the one who take out the phone and fiddle with it, even though I’ve absolutely no need to do so. It’s a reflex, a muscle memory. Because each time I wait in line or finish dining, I’d instinctively whip out the iPhone from the pocket and catch up with the day’s news. It’s ironic that I’m the one who often break the rule I set.

Well, report is that we don’t even need to use the phone to be distracted in a social setting. Even the mere presence of phone can be disruptive.

Sherry Turkle writing for the New York Times:
It’s a powerful insight. Studies of conversation both in the laboratory and in natural settings show that when two people are talking, the mere presence of a phone on a table between them or in the periphery of their vision changes both what they talk about and the degree of connection they feel. People keep the conversation on topics where they won’t mind being interrupted. They don’t feel as invested in each other. Even a silent phone disconnects us.

Next time I’m going to keep it firmly in my pocket and not let the phone get into my line of sight. Not on the table, but securely and happily in the pocket. I’m sure it will make me be more aware of my surrounding, make me a better conversationist and use the phone with greater intention.