I mean what can be soooo important that a girl can’t even get through a cup of coffee with a friend without being demoted below a cell phone in priorities? Can we really not put our cell phone on silent and keep it out of sight for a short time? I want to scream “Will you please get off your electronic idol while I am with you!!” Goll! We need to add “Electronics’ Etiquette” to the list of needed life manuals along with “How to be a Parent”. The Bible covers the parenting issues if we actually took the principles to heart and perhaps simply “The Golden Rule” should be THE standard for Electronics’ Etiquette.
Plain and simple, I feel neglected, unimportant and boring when the person I am with is on an electronic device. And I don’t just feel those feelings when someone is on them too much, because what is too much? To the person on the device they don’t feel they are on it too much, but to the recipient of this avoidance, once is plenty! My love language has been proven time and again to be Quality Time. Coming in 2nd is Words of Affirmation. So it is clear to see that someone wrapped up in texting or talking on the phone or playing with their phone or ipad robs from our quality time and also cuts conversation short.
I remember when I thought call waiting was rude as I would be in the middle of a sentence and cut off to, “hold on, hold on, just a sec” and they would click over before I could say “no thanks, I won’t hold a sec”. I’m not very old but I can remember when an answering machine graced my childhood home. Before that if people tried to get in touch with you, they called your house and if it rang and rang they figured they would call back. They didn’t hold against you not picking up. Old school answering machines began the culture of, “Did you get my message” interrogation in that naggy motherly voice. Now, if you don’t answer a text or your cell within seconds you are tagged as someone who never replies and ignores calls. Oh, I am sorry I am not at your beckon call. I may be in the restroom or tending to my FAMILY. Shawn, as a Senior Pastor, was constantly chastised that he couldn’t be gotten a hold of. Ever want to be anonymous sometimes?
I can’t spend this whole blog denying it is nice to have quick access to people myself but what I am trying to drive home is that we need to know when it is ok to put the phone away (please turn on silent) and just be with people in the flesh. Even though we can keep in touch with people through facebook, texts, etc. relationships come through flesh and blood contact. We need it, it is how we were created to thrive and grow. I need my uninterrupted coffee dates. I need a long lunch without getting cut off in the middle of a sentence because a tweet dings on their phone! I think I am more important that a tweet that can be viewed later. My friends are worth silencing my phone. As I wrote in my last blog; Aubree thinks her teacher is nicer when parent’s are around because “she doesn’t want her job cancelled”…..don’t have a friendship canceled over an electronic, that’s just sad.
This manual request by: Sonny Hennessy
*Next unavailable manual I am requesting: “How people over 50 can learn to shut off their cell phones in meetings and church” and the follow up manual “How people over 50 don’t have to answer their phone, stand up and say “I’m in church” before they walk out.”