Iphones. Ipads. Fire Tablets. Endless amounts of tablets. Droids. Snapchat. Facebook. Instagram. Like a hungry child wanting food, they wait. Sometimes they scream. Most of the time, they wait patiently knowing we will come running to them not in hours but seconds. They vie for our attention and they get it. Hours upon hours we sit with our phone hand like nosey neighbors peeking into our family, friends, or ‘friends’ (notice the quotation marks) lives. Technology has consumed so much of our lives when we enter its world we fail to notice those around us. Those who we love the most take second seat when it comes to achieving the latest news on our phones.
Phubbing is a term created for this terrible act. Phubbing is the term describing the habit of someone in favor of their mobile phone or device. Unfortunately, our culture is moving closer and closer to 100% of being guilty of the egregious act. You are familiar with the cute couple sitting in the corner of a fine establishment. No words are spoken. Just clicks, swipes, and points of their fingers on the preferred screens. Another term or acronym describing this act is FOMO: fear of missing out.
First, let me say I am guilty. I am number one on the list. Sitting at dinner with my wife, having a nice conversation, and suddenly my phone interrupts. There is a tug which pulls my hands and eyes into its grasp to check the latest news or actions or activity or sports score. My wife fades ever so gently into the background and suddenly social media takes center stage. I am not having dinner with a few hundred of my friends on Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat and my wife? She is patiently waiting for me to return to the table which I physically occupy but socially withdrawn.
In order for one to achieve victory, you must first admit you have a problem. Thus I write. Yet maybe our culture needs this term or phrase of ‘No Phubbing’ on dining tables, restaurant doors, and other facilities which we can find ourselves phubbing. We don’t mean too but maybe we need a little reminder about what we need to prioritize and at the same time, take some personal responsibility.
Cracker Barrel restaurants, a well known family breakfast establishment in the Southeast, do not have wifi in their restaurants. If I am away from home wanting to get some work done, Cracker Barrel is not an option. Though I love their coffee and breakfast options, they don’t provide wifi. Its a family restaurant with a purpose to create a family atmosphere which makes family come and enjoy food and family time without the need to pick up their phones and interrupt such family intimacies.
Yet, with unlimitedly data supplied by phone companies for their customers, this could cause phubbing to skyrocket. So now is the time to act and here are three ideas you can do to say no to phubbing when enjoying a meal.
Create a phone stash: When everyone sits down, everyone places their silenced phones in the middle of the table. I don’t recommend this for non-family events but when family is around, let’s put them down.
Create a phone Stash with Pay Option: You pick up, you pay. That simple. Place your phones in the middle. The first person to pick it up has to pay for the other(s) meal.
Silence: Simply turn on the silence/do not disturb mode and focus on the person(s) around you.
This is an epidemic affecting our society at an alarming rate and in order to save our marriages and our families, we must act now. Say no to phubbing and say yes to family and couple intimacy.
I would love to hear what you are doing and how you are winning the war on phubbing. Let’s connect and send us your ideas or strategies and we can share them on a future Rowland in Life post.
You also want to check out related post:
5 Things I Do to Make Our Lives Simpler (And Happier)
The One Rule God Made for the Sabbath
The Incredible Life of the Unhurried