Why We Need To Put Down Our Phones And Listen To Each Other

In today’s fast-paced world, it seems like everyone’s attention is constantly allocated to his or her phone, regardless of the presence of company.

It’s not that people don’t enjoy spending time with others face-to-face (for the most part), but rather, society is equipped with technology that allows everyone to remain in constant contact anytime, anywhere.

Most mobile phones are now capable of connecting to the Internet, providing access to email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and much more. It’s no longer just about texting and calling, folks.

Nowadays, it’s rare to be in a meeting, at dinner or hanging out at a bar with friends without them checking their phones to see where other people are and what they’re up to.

What happens when you find yourself in the presence of someone who devotes his or her full attention to you and only you?  If you’re an observer of those sorts of little things, you'll notice. Maybe you’ll even find yourself putting your phone away, too.

So, why keep the art of classic conversation alive, free of our beloved distractions and emoji?

Repetition becomes, well, repetitive

This may sound like common sense, but with the constant distraction of cell phones, people have to ask others to repeat themselves because they missed it the first time. This often results in a feeling of neglect for the speaker because the listener is not demonstrating proper etiquette and respect.

Nobody enjoys having to repeat something over and over again because the person being spoken to was more engaged with the latest updates on social media.

Even activities like watching movies become less fun when someone is constantly asking, “What’s going on?” because he or she was too busy texting and checking email inboxes.

Sometimes, a person refuses to say things again, especially depending on the situation and the speaker’s level of patience and importance. When is the deadline for this project? Where is the meeting being held?

From a professional standpoint, bosses will not appreciate having to brief employees who were on their phones during initial meetings more than once.

Save yourself the grief of becoming the person who never knows what’s happening, and put the phone away every now and then. Your colleagues, friends and family will thank you.

Be productive

Unless you are part of the elite two percent of the population that can multitask without negatively affecting your performance, you will be more efficient if your full attention is on the task at hand.

Without the disturbance of cell phones, you allow yourself to engage in conversations and work as a more effective team. Miscommunication (and need for repetition, as aforementioned) is less likely to occur in an environment that is free of distractions.

Who knows, maybe you’ll even learn something about the person with whom you’re working that you would not have otherwise noticed. The two of you are more able to recognize each other's strengths and weaknesses, which may help you work as a better team in the future.

Appreciate others' passions and fully express your own

Whenever people engage in heated debates or become heavily involved in face-to-face conversations, odds are, they aren’t doing so while simultaneously checking their phones. Rather, all of their attention and energy is invested in the present discussion.

It’s the kind of conversation that makes people’s eyes light up with passion and interest when they speak. The listener stops being an observer and begins to be an active participant.

Who? What? Where? When? Why? Questions fuel the conversation, which further provide meaning that responses such as “yeah” or “mmhm" could not have achieved.

Don’t get me wrong; I enjoy my smartphone just as much as the next girl. But, is it something we need to check at every moment of every day? More than likely, the answer is no. It is up to our society to preserve the tradition of classic conversation and educate future generations on why it is important to do so.

Photo Courtesy: We Heart It