Put Your Dang Phone DOWN

Nothing new with this gripe…most of us have voiced it. What is it? Well “it” is the blatant thoughtlessness and rudeness of people checking texts or taking a call while talking to someone else.

Yes, I have done it too, but I try to minimize such insensitive and rude actions on my part. And, when I think I just cannot be separated from my mobile device, I try to give others a heads up by apologizing in advance should an important message or call come through that I need to take. Even that, however, could be deemed a bit rude to some degree.

Why not just say to folks: “Can we talk another time when I am not distracted by an important message or call I am expecting? I want to be totally focused when we talk.”

Who would not agree that it is a wonderful and appreciated feeling to know you have someone’s undivided attention – to know they are truly listening and most of all – that they obviously care. And better yet is when their actions clearly show that they heard and understood what was shared with them. How true the quip:

“Your actions are sooooooo loud, that I cannot hear what you are saying!”

Texting and talking - put your phone downIt’s beyond sad that truly listening to others with our undivided attention seems tragically on its way to becoming a forgotten value in today’s 90 mph-paced world. I for one do NOT want to be a part of the downward spiral when it comes to losing our common courtesies and kindnesses. Every day I work hard to give others the “gift” of my total, undivided attention when they are talking with me.

Sure..…I backslide from time to time, but at least I am catching myself more when I do these days and that’s a small step in the right direction. And, the more we practice thoughtful and good habits, the more they will “stick” and become a natural action and reaction for us.

Bottom line: Thinking about and truly giving someone our undivided attention is a daily commitment that must be made and re-made as we disconnect more from our mobile devices and practice plain old fashion courtesies.

By the way, I also give the rude ones who look at their phones throughout a conversation a “gift” as well. What is that gift? First, I always offer to delay our conversation until they are less busy and can focus (a “gift” of sorts). Most – fortunately – decide to put their devices down and continue our conversation. Others opt to continue dividing attention between me and their mobile device. In those situations, I either take control and leave the conversation (a “gift” to myself) or I bite my tongue as I withhold what I am really thinking about them (that’s the “gift!”)and their lack of respect for my time and me!

We can all do better at minimizing this annoying and all-too-common rude fixation with our mobile devices. So — let’s just do it as “they” say and work hard at putting our #*$(#)%)@% dang phones down when talking with others!

Gets my goat

About the author 

Nancy Byerly Jones

Nancy Byerly Jones and her husband reside on their mountainside ranch (“Little Hee Haw Farm”) with an energetic “family” of horses, donkeys (large and miniature), dogs and cats. Their favorite pastime is sharing the joy and fun of their animals and ranch life with their family, friends and clients.

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