Looking at my daily schedule, I have realized that I spend a disproportionate amount of my time looking at my phone, texting friends and using a variety of applications. While I do enjoy being in contact with friends, and having access to a vast amount of information whenever I desire, I realize that my constant interaction with my phone is detrimental to my interaction with the rest of the world. Having a modern phone is undoubtedly an excellent asset, but it also can socially stunt an individual. I will make a plan to more effectively use my phone without being rude or minimizing my interaction with my friends and peers. This plan has three individual steps: determining when it is appropriate to use my phone, breaking the habit of constantly taking out my phone, and making an effort to communicate more often face-to-face. I have noticed that many of my friends either never developed these habits or learned to overcome them and I will use them as models.
In recent history, phone usage was dictated by strict etiquette that extended to the cell phone when it was invented. As cell phones became more popular and widespread, this etiquette began to slip. This was mostly due to the proliferation of phones owned by younger people who were never properly educated in the accepted etiquette. Cell phones became ubiquitous and it became common to see people walking from place to place with their nose buried in the screen, or texting while in a conversation with friends. My plan is to eliminate those rude and anti-social behaviors. I will not use my cell phone while walking, and will instead keep my head up and interact with my environment. I will not use my cell phone during class or meetings, this is both rude and counter-productive. I will not use my cell phone during a conversation, and if I must check something or send an important text, I will excuse myself from the conversation, conduct my business and then return.
Much like biting nails or tapping toes, pulling out a cell phone is a commonly engrained habit in many young people. I am guilty of this, and will work to change it. Unless I am actively waiting for a text message or phone call, I will keep my phone in a backpack or other bag that is not easily accessible. This way, I can hear it ring or vibrate, but I will not be tempted to constantly look at it. To help with this, I will ask my friends to monitor this usage and tell me when they notice I pull out the phone unnecessarily.
Finally, I believe that my cell phone has developed into a substitute for face-to-face communication. I regularly text my friends or check updates on the phone rather than just talking to people. To satisfy my need for information, I will make an effort to seek out and converse with my friends instead of depending on technology.
As noted above, to accomplish these goals I will need the assistance of my friends. The setting is essentially inconsequential as my phone is constantly on my person, as I rely on it for a variety of issues. What I will depend on is friendly reminders when my peers see me grabbing for my phone, or texting during a conversation. In the end, I hope that this will make me a more social, less rude, and more positive individual.
Published on November 26th, 2014