Smartphones are amazing, right? I can’t imagine living without mine anymore. It’s just so convenient to have access to everything on one device. Plus, phones are small enough to fit nicely in a purse, pocket, or the palm of your hand.
Unfortunately, there’s a shadow side – as a culture, we’ve become dependent on feeling connected through our phones, especially through social media. But using your phone too much around others can make them feel unimportant. Have you ever been distracted by an incoming notification, casting your eyes towards your phone instead of listening to the news the friend sitting across from you is trying to share? If you want to be more present to your life and the people around you, try following these mindful etiquette tips.
· Put your phone away when you’re spending time with others. This shows your friend that they have your undivided attention. If you’re expecting an important call about work or kids, and must have your phone out, explain this and place it screen side down.
· Keep the ringer off. Having your phone set to vibrate is much less intrusive.
· Not everything needs to be photographed. Try living in the moment: be present to how you feel and create memories with your mind.
· Phone down, head up: when waiting for a friend at a coffee shop or standing in line, resist the urge to pull out your phone. Instead, look around. Breathe deeply, take everything in. You don’t need to be distracted or busy every minute of the day. This is a moment for you to just be.